Inspiring Graduate M Hampton, B.F.A. Studio Art

'I’ve learned to be a professional artist with a professional practice.'
May 30, 2023

Inspiring Graduate: M Hampton (’23)

  • Hometown: Ramsey, Minn.
  • Degree: Studio Art, with a concentration in Contemporary Sculptural Practices

First-generation student M Hampton switched their major from art education during the global pandemic to pursue a BFA in studio art.

“It has been a whirlwind of catching up. I failed a few classes, I retook classes and here I am. Slow and steady wins the race,” said Hampton, who will soon be married.

They earned their studio art degree from UW-Stout on May 6, along with 1,173 graduates.

Hampton will take a year off school and is looking into MFA programs near the Twin Cities. They would like to teach at the college level.

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Inspiring Graduate M Hampton and Chancellor Katherine Frank at commencement / UW-Stout

“The ouroboros of education strikes again, learning to then teach the new teachers how to learn to teach,” they said.

“How has my UW-Stout education and experience changed me? I grew up. That’s the best way to say it – I grew up. I learned to take some agency and responsibility for my choices, and I made a real name for myself here,” Hampton said.

“Hampton brings a unique perspective to their art in and out of the classroom and studio,” said Resident Life Coordinator Sarah Eastman-Frazier, who worked with Hampton when they served as a resident adviser this past year.

How has UW-Stout prepared you to work in your field?

I have actual experience in making. I have an actual practice now. I can sit down and do a painting that would have taken me weeks in high school in an hour. I’m most proud of my ability to make.

I’ve learned to be a professional artist with a professional practice. I’ve got some shows on my resume and can finally go and get into the Walker (wishful thinking).

I received a student research grant for my solo BFA thesis exhibition – two big honors. I wouldn’t have had anywhere near as successful of a senior thesis exhibition without that grant.

The constant discussion in the Applied Arts Building between me and other students has made me both a powerful network and a consistent practice.

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M Hampton and Professor Tim Tozer at commencement / UW-Stout

What stands out about your UW-Stout experience?

Professors Kelly O’Brien, Darren Tesar and Brandon Cramm have put so much information into my head that it isn’t even fair. They’ve been nothing but helpful, they’ve made it all worth it.

Deano Samens and Doug Stodola in the Process Lab have been fantastic. They know the answers to any question you have and were so kind to me and gave me nice plywood to use for class.

I’ve also always wanted to wear the Blaze suit. I hope that by putting this here somebody lets me run around wearing the head for a minute (even more wishful thinking).

I am going to miss the MSC pizza.

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