What's in your Backpack?

“My cherry red Filofax organizer,” said Olivia Hernández, a senior majoring in visual arts from Miami, Fla. It helps her manage three jobs and schoolwork, has pages to doodle and journal, and places for inspirations. 

Hernández is passionate about helping people embrace their courageous imaginations. “I’m moved by the non-traditional student attempting something new — whether it’s a boy trying ballet or my grandmother texting,” she said. 

A non-traditional student herself, Hernández came to KU a few years after earning a degree in political science and international studies elsewhere. “Politics is solution-based,” she said. “With art, you are able to ask the questions and not find the answers.”

Last summer, she studied papermaking and woodblock carving in Japan, an experience made possible by scholarships.

Hernández is focused on cultivating her art and plans to attend graduate school.

“If I experience any success, it’s because of everything I have learned here,” she said. “Thank you for supporting KU; you have offered me a platform upon which I have risen up to reach dreams I never knew I had.”

She already has received recognition. Hernández recently had an art installation in Chalmers Hall, and her video, “material girl hallelujah,” was the overall short film work-in-progress winner at the CreActive International Open Film Festival in Bangladesh in August 2016.