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MSU art student went to Colorado to hone her craft

Daring-Greatly-1280-720.jpgGrowing up in Hazard and as a student at Morehead State University, Darcy McDaniel was used to the sight of mountains. But as a senior working toward her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art, McDaniel went from rolling green hills to jagged peaks to enhance her skills as a photographer.

McDaniel completed a weeklong photography workshop entitled “Visual Storytelling through Digital Photography” from Aug. 27 through Aug. 31 at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Village, Colorado. The workshop was led by Ami Vitale, ambassador for Nikon cameras and photographer for National Geographic.

When McDaniel had talked to her art professors about potentially going to graduate school out of state, she was encouraged by Helen Otterson, assistant professor of sculpture, to look at artist residencies and weeklong workshops to give her a sample of what the experience may entail.

“It would be a really good opportunity to branch out a little bit and also invest in my education,” McDaniel said.

McDaniel decided to take her first-ever plane ride to Colorado. She recalled probably being the youngest member of the workshop and appreciated the opportunity to learn from a world-renowned photographer side-by-side with other more established photographers, who had also come to the workshop to fine-tune their craft.

“I got to just kind of network with people who do what I want to do, but they do it professionally and they succeed at it,” she said.

During the five days, McDaniel said she learned technical skills and different approaches to photojournalism while also getting to showcase her own work. As she prepares to graduate in May 2019, she said her experience makes her want to explore traveling for other workshops while she contemplates graduate school. She said the intensiveness of MSU’s BFA program, along with encouraging professors, have put her in a better position to find a successful career centered around her passion.

“Going to Morehead State and putting myself out there and talking about my work and applying to the BFA program has really showed me I can handle a lot more than I think I can,” she said. “By getting out of my comfort zone and pushing myself, I can really grow a lot and a lot of good things can happen.”

To learn more about MSU’s Department of Art & Design, call 606-783-2766 or visit

For more information on internships and workshop opportunities, contact the Office of Career Services at 606-783-2233 or visit
Pictured above: "Daring Greatly #4."