Studio Art Majors Taylor Brown and Abby Leitinger Featured in Philadelphia Art Show

Philadelphia skyline.

Today we feature Taylor Brown and Abby Leitinger, two Studio Art majors who recently displayed their work in the Rittenhouse Art Show in Philadelphia. We interviewed Taylor and Abby on their experiences as young artists at the show and on how they developed their interests in creating art. 

Taylor Brown, junior Studio Art major from Perry Hill, Maryland

Why did you choose to study Studio Art?

In high school I went to a magnet school in Maryland, which is a high school completely dedicated to the arts. They have classes focused on dance, acting, and the arts like painting. While I was at school there I focused on art so I developed a passion for creating artwork throughout those four years. Studio art was a great option for me because I did not fully know what I wanted to do, and studio art gives room for exploring your interests through a variety of classes. 

Taylor Brown's setup at the art show.
Taylor Brown’s display at the 2021 Rittenhouse Art Show.

How did you first get interested in art? 

In middle school I felt like I started excelling in art. I overall genuinely enjoyed attending art class and it was something I looked forward to on a daily basis. This is when I decided to go to high school at the magnet school and focus on art throughout my high school career. 

What mediums do you like to work with when producing your art?

I really like sculpture, graphite and oil painting. 

Taylor Brown's 22 x 30 inch graphite drawing of a lion.
Taylor Brown’s 22 x 30 inch graphite drawing of a lion.

Do you follow any themes when producing your art? Do you like to paint or illustrate landscapes? People? Still life? 

I like to create a mixture of everything. I love working with different mediums and get my inspiration from anywhere. Instead of thinking about creating art as a project or as “work,” I like to think I am creating something because I enjoy the process. My pieces are never the same, and it makes the process very interesting for me.

How did you find out about the Rittenhouse Art Show in Philadelphia? How did you get involved? 

I basically received an email in my student email sent to all art majors explaining there was an art show if I was interested. I immediately thought it could be a cool experience, so I made an application and submitted some art work. I then received an email that I was accepted and that’s how it all started!

What is your favorite part of producing art?

I really enjoy the process of producing art. 

Taylor Brown's 14 x 14 in canvas oil painting of a plant.
Taylor Brown’s 14 x 14 inch canvas oil painting of a plant sold at the art show.

How was your experience as an artist featured in the Rittenhouse Art Show in Philadelphia? Will you continue to seek out art shows in the future?

It was such an amazing experience. I got to speak to other artists where they gave me feedback on how I could grow and what I could work on. It was the first time I had my artwork in a show where attendees could buy my work. I sold six pieces and I think it is so cool how someone has my artwork in their house somewhere. I will definitely seek out future art show opportunities. 

Taylor Brown's 22 x 30 inch canvas oil painting of a car.
Taylor Brown’s 22 x 30 inch canvas oil painting of a car sold at the art show.

Abby Leitinger, sophomore Studio Art major from Mount Laurel, NJ (Burlington County)

Why did you choose Rowan to study Studio Art?

I toured a bunch of schools junior year of high school. Rowan was actually the last school I toured because I did not have serious intentions of going there. I ended up touring Rowan because it was local and I have friends that went there. It wasn’t until I went on my tour that I realized Rowan was where I needed to be. My tour guide happened to be a Biomedical Art and Visualization Major, which I thought was very interesting. But Rowan was one the only school that thoroughly discussed art on my tour. I felt instantly that art was important and prominent on campus. 

Why did you choose to study Studio Art?

My advisor placed me in this major. I was informed that this major was a basic art major that would let me explore my options. I picked this major so I could eventually find what I love to do and select a concentration that best fits that.

Abby Leitinger in her booth, engaging with a few customers inquiring about commissions at the Rittenhouse Art Show.
Abby Leitinger engaging with a few customers inquiring about commissions at the Rittenhouse Art Show.

How did you first get interested in art? 

From a young age I was always interested in art. I was constantly drawing and I always had a box of Crayola crayons at an easy reach. I never thought of majoring in art until senior year of high school. I always thought I had to pursue art as a pastime on the side. My art teacher was the person that encouraged me to pursue art. She simply cared so much about art. She was the first person that looked at my art and then decided to put it in an art contest. She told me art is everywhere and I can be involved in so many different professions while being an artist. 

What mediums do you like to work with when producing your art?

I really like to use pen and ink. However, I do like to explore different mediums and I find myself using watercolor, acrylic, and charcoal as well. 

Abby Leitinger's Great Dane", a pen and ink drawing part of her pets series.
Abby Leitinger’s “Great Dane,” a pen and ink drawing, part of her pets series.

Do you follow any themes when producing your art? Do you like to paint or illustrate landscapes? People? Still life?

I am an exploratory artist. I love trying different things and alternating between different subjects. I think I would get bored if I only created the same types of pieces. I like to keep ideas fresh.

How did you find out about the Rittenhouse Art Show in Philadelphia? How did you get involved? 

I received an email that I believe was distributed to all art majors. I am extremely grateful that I saw this email because this led me to this amazing experience. This is another reason of why I believe Rowan was the place I was meant to be — because of opportunities like this that are offered through Rowan. 

I ended up submitting a portfolio for this process, which was looked over and judged. I later got notification that I was approved for the spot. 

Abby Leitinger's "Cranes", a white colored pencil drawing on black paper.
Abby Leitinger’s “Cranes,” a white colored pencil drawing on black paper.

What is your favorite part of producing art?

I love looking at the final result. I can be a perfectionist at times, so when I get to the final process of looking at what I accomplished and thoroughly enjoying it, it is really rewarding.

How was your experience as an artist featured in the Rittenhouse Art Show in Philadelphia? Will you continue to seek out Art Shows in the future?

It was stressful leading up to the show because of the constant preparation. I had to price my pieces out which was shockingly challenging. When I actually got to the show and got to just sit and observe, I began to relax and appreciate the moment. I ended up selling a lot of pieces which is more than I could have asked for. It is really cool to think about a person having my artwork in their house right now. 

Abby Leitinger's booth at the Rittenhouse Art Show featuring her boyfriend and his little brother.
Abby Leitinger’s booth at the Rittenhouse Art Show featuring her boyfriend and his little brother.

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Story By:
Natalie DePersia, junior public relations major

Photos provided by:
Taylor Brown and Abby Leitinger

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