Alaiyo Bradshaw, Associate Director of First Year

Alaiyo Bradshaw is a Brooklyn based artist and works at Parsons School of Design, where she is an Associate Director of the First Year program and Assistant Professor of Fine Arts. She received her BFA in Fine Arts and Art History from the University of Michigan and MFA in Visual Journalism from the School of Visual Arts.

She is a professional illustrator, watercolor painter and award-winning exhibiting artist with her line of wearable art. She has shown at several galleries in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. Her artwork takes a passionate view of a social conscience that incorporates drawing and painting through visual journalism. In her work, she reconstructs dreams, children’s stories, cultural iconography, ethnography, and social issues. She brings her training as an illustrator and graphic designer into her work as a fine artist. She thinks of her paintings as single-frame narratives–windows into the subject. Her artwork is linked by repeated formal concerns as well as through its conceptual content. Each personal project consists of multiple works grouped around specific themes and iconography. She uses watercolor as a medium to create depth, translucency, and opacity. Most recently, she was chosen to take part in the NBAS 2019 Water Color and Mixed Media Exhibition “Ephemeral Visions” in New Brunswick, New Jersey, from October 29 – December 21, 2019.

Which First Year courses do you coordinate and/or teach?

I coordinate all of the First Year Electives in the spring. I teach Drawing/Imaging: People and an elective called Drawing Through the Making Center. In the recent past, I taught Integrative Studio: Memory.

If you could go back and give your ‘First Year self’ one piece of advice, what would you say?

If I could go back and give my ‘First Year Self’ one piece of advice, I would say enjoy this First Year, find your voice, and don’t pressure yourself. Open yourself up to all possibilities and experiences. Value the lessons you learn in life. Friendships are meaningful, but so is preparing for your future career goals. Recognize your talent but face up to the fact that you are in the midst of competition. Hold firm to your dreams of becoming a professional artist and carry on.