College of Arts and Communication

Ger Xiong '17

Ger Xiong

Ger graduated in 2017 as a BFA with an emphasis in Metals and Jewelry.

What made you want to pursue a degree in this field?
“I knew I was interested in the arts ever since I was young and it wasn't until I was at UW-Whitewater that I became interested in Metals and Jewelry. This area became a way of exploring my history and identity and it has continued to push my future education and goals. I also give a lot of thanks to Teresa Faris being such a great mentor, which navigated me in my career and future.”

What was your favorite part about attending UW-Whitewater?
“I was involved in a few different organizations - Alloy, Southeast Asian Organization, WCC and the community aspect of each organization really helped me find my place at UW-Whitewater. Those organizations definitely had a huge impact on me as I was able to meet people from all different kinds of backgrounds and majors.”

How did your UW-Whitewater experience prepare you for your career or transform your life?
“Professional development was a part of my experience at UW-Whitewater; classes, student president of organizations, meetings with faculty, advisors, and professors – all have helped me build a great professional portfolio. My emphasis in metals, and jewelry in particular, tremendously helped prepare me for Graduate School. I am still in touch with mentors, professors, and colleagues and those relationships have continued to help me in my current career and life.”

Where do you draw inspiration from?
“As for artists, I would say the first time I was at a conference, Society of North American Goldsmith, I will always remember Joyce Scott's presentation and conversation about identity, race, social, politics. I do draw most of my inspiration from my Hmong craft and history, so all of the Hmong artists that has come before me, I draw inspiration from, for example, my mom.”

Where are you currently at in your career?
“I am currently pursuing my Master of Fine Arts (MFA) at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM and I am about to graduate this Spring 2021 semester.”

What is your proudest accomplishment to date?
“Most recently receiving a Fulbright Fellowship to Thailand from 2019-2020 to research, document, and collaborate with Hmong artisans around Chiang Mai Province. - Fulbright Fellowship from 2019-2020”

- Surface Design Association Outstanding Student Award
- Mary Lawbaugh Purchase Award from NMSU University Art Museum.
- Bead and Button Show: Grand Award in Student Metal and Wire Category Bead and Button Show: Finalist in Student Metal and Wire Category

What advice would you give to your former self?
"Stick up for yourself more and be confident in the things you are doing. Believe in yourself. Also, be organize in terms of technology because finding files and documents from years ago can be pretty difficult.”

What advice would you give your future self?
“Keep pushing for your dreams and goals and surround yourself with supportive group of people.”

What advice would you give to a potential UW-Whitewater Art and Design student?
“Join clubs/organizations, get out of your comfort zone and you will begin to see how great the communities at UW-Whitewater can be. This is the time to learn new things, meet new people, explore things that you may not have/been able to up to this point. And find a great mentor that can mentor you throughout your education.”

Learn more about the Art and Design Degree Programs