Jackie Harder, a mixed media artist, will be the final presenter in the Women Influencing the Arts speaker series, on Oct. 27 at the Virginia Tech Women’s Center.

Harder — who holds a master’s degree in urban and regional planning and a bachelor’s in environmental policy and planning, both from Virginia Tech — will speak on the topic of “Emerging into the Professional Landscape: Exploring Balance, Generating Income, Rejection, and Community Support.” 

Transitioning from a student to an emerging arts professional can be difficult. Young artists face a range of challenges, including rejections and the need to find a balance between art making and bill paying. Harder will speak about her own personal struggles and triumphs since graduation.

“Rejection has taught me a lot about what I need to be doing to grow in the ways I really want to grow,” Harder said. “I have experienced success, but also many setbacks and challenges. I look forward to sharing how I have used those experiences to guide my growth as an artist. Maybe my story can help other young artists.”

Harder, who opted to stay in the Blacksburg area following graduation, will also offer insights into being an artist in a small community. “Sometimes I feel like I need to be thinking and acting locally,” she said. “But it can be enticing to think about going global and focusing on selling my work exclusively online. I’ve started to find a good balance so far of doing both.”

Harder’s talk will begin at 5:30 p.m. at  the Virginia Tech Women’s Center, located at 206 Washington St. Parking is limited. Use  on-street parking, the Squires parking lot, the Architecture Annex parking lot, or the Kent Square parking garage.

The Women Influencing the Arts speaker series is sponsored by the Virginia Tech Women’s Center and the Virginia Tech School of Performing Arts. For more information, visit the website.

All events are free and open to the public. Seating is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis. Free reservations are available online.

Written by Donna Thompson, of Blacksburg, Virginia, a graduate student studying arts leadership in the School of Performing Arts.

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