Southeast graduate Lindsey Baker drew her career inspiration from an unlikely place – her family’s quilting heritage.
Lindsey, a Scott City, Mo., native who earned her bachelor of fine arts degree in fibers from Southeast in May, explains.
“I have always been drawn to textiles because of my family’s interest in quilts,” Lindsey said. “I can remember as a young girl watching my grandma sew and seeing all of her fabrics in her sewing closet, and I have always kept that in my mind. Once I got to college, I was a graphic design major. Art majors are required to take a breadth of courses in all studio areas. I took a fibers course, and knew I wanted to be a fibers major. It just felt right, and I trusted my instincts.”
Although just beginning her career, Lindsey’s success thus far shows her inspiration has already served her well.
Lindsey, who specializes in textile artwork, has been accepted to the graduate program in textile design at Philadelphia University, a pipeline into the textile industry. She also has completed a summer internship with RM Coco in Cape Girardeau, a leader in the textile home furnishings market. Her solo gallery showing of her fiber art, paintings and drawings at the 1-2-5 Gallery in Cape Girardeau, was a success, resulting in over $3,000 worth of sales. Lindsey also won the Best of Show award at the annual student juried exhibition at the Southeast Missouri Regional Museum.
Lindsey says the only regret she has from her internship at RM Coco was not being able to stay longer.
“The experience was rewarding on so many levels,” she said. “The internship provided me with the hands-on element that has really helped me understand the field that I am pursuing.”
Lindsey interned in the purchasing department at RM Coco.
“I reviewed new fabric collections and worked on sample books for the upcoming season,” she said. “RM Coco is a leader in the textile home furnishings market,” she added. “They import fabrics both domestically and internationally and then organize their products into collections that are sold to customers through the use of sample books. Along with a wide range of fabrics, some of which are exclusive only to RM Coco, they also present a collection of drapery hardware and trim collections.
“I have been able to work with so many contacts within the textile industry that will be vital to my career,” Lindsey added. “From the first day of my internship, I knew I was going to learn more than I could ever ask for.”
Lindsey is enthusiastic about furthering her knowledge during her graduate studies program at Philadelphia University, which she begins in August.
“I am very excited about this opportunity and feel it will enhance the knowledge that I have gained at Southeast,” she said. “I plan to be a highly competitive and creative textile designer in the home interiors market. In my undergraduate degree, I focused on creative endeavors and stretching my imaginative and creative capacities. Now I plan to focus more intensely on the industry in my graduate studies. The textiles market has drastically moved toward computerized design and that will be a big factor in my education. It is exciting to see the integration of my creative abilities with the overwhelming possibilities of technology.”
Lindsey credits her acceptance into Philadelphia University’s textile design graduate program to the education she received at Southeast.
“I feel my acceptance into a very limited and selective graduate program at Philadelphia University speaks for the quality of education I received at Southeast,” she said. “The personal atmosphere at Southeast really provided me with the one-on-one attention that allowed me to maintain a close relationship with my professors. They pushed me to become dedicated and allowed me to gain my own sense of creativity and vision at the same time. I’m very pleased with my undergraduate education from Southeast.”
Lindsey has one bit of advice for new students.
“I recommend they find an on-campus job, because it helps you to become connected with the University,” she said. “I was a student worker at the Southeast Bookstore, and I feel like they are part of my family. They were such an integral part of my experience at Southeast. Working on campus kept me connected, and it allowed me to work around my hectic school schedule.”