Student empowers through her paintings


Jenna SteplemanGeneral Assignment Reporter

Shaana Campbell, an interdisciplinary studies major focusing in biology and art, has a unique perspective on her art. She has loved drawing since she was little and in high school soon gained a passion for biology as well.

When Campbell started off at Southern, she was unsure of what she wanted to do. She was not able to choose one road and so she decided to start off by simply taking classes that interested her seeing what worked for her.

“I started off drawing, actually, but I wanted to be able to really use color and instead of going right into color drawings I decided to start small with painting. I ended up actually really enjoying it and having a knack for it,” Campbell said.

After choosing to major in biology, Campbell realized she wanted to take her hobby to another level as the biology side was not “everything she wanted.”

“I took an elective drawing class with professor Brownell that year and she suggested that I go further with it.  Her recognizing I had talent was enough for me to look into other majors,” Campbell said.

She then transferred from a single biology major to an IDS dual concentration major of painting and biology.

“Despite what people may assume, I’m mostly into drawing portraits due to my drawing background; not animals or anything related to biology,” Campbell said.

Campbell’s interest in drawing all started at a very young age.

“I was home sick one day in third grade and I was watching Nickelodeon and was bored enough to try out drawing the little characters they walk you through drawing with the animators, and afterwords I just had this feeling I wanted to improve more,”  Campbell said.

An artist’s style makes them who they are, and Campbell said she was really still learning herself and her style. However, she still prefers portraiture.

“The current series I’m working on is black women empowerment, so for this painting I’m currently working on I have a dark skin Wonder Woman,” Campbell said.

“The story I was going for in this piece is, basically, she caught the bad guy and the cops were too late, so when the cop came over to search the man [she] tied up [and] left behind, she’s running away looking back while they wonder who did this.”

Picking a career with such radically different concentrations is going to be a challenge, but Campbell said she would take it as it comes and has some ideas for now.

“I’m not sure exactly what I want to do with my major. I was thinking about using both together as an art therapy career, but I also was unsure if I should go to medical school and do painting by commission and galleries,” Campbell said.

As she ends her career at Southern, Campbell hopes to get her work put in more places around New Haven.

“I’ve had my artwork displayed in the Earl Hall Gallery a few times but nowhere more major yet,” she said.

Photo Credit: Jenna Stapleman 

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