Mariel Andersen


“Mentoring at Light House Studio is a dynamic delight, fraught with a sense of hidden high-stakes for the students. Even if to them its just art camp, I think it’s my job to ensure students leave programs fundamentally changed and creatively well-equipped, like the mentors of my youth did for me. In the midst of a vapid adolescence, Light House rescued my originality by showing me that unique perspectives are valued. They taught me that I could make profound visual art all by myself. That’s a big deal! I have to give that to other young people, while disguising it as low-stress fun.”

Mariel discovered Light House Studio in 2010 during her sophomore year of high school. That first course, a film critique class called Static, introduced her to like-minded peers and artistic promise. Mariel’s love of Light House grew with every course she took, while involvement there earned her a full ride to VCU Arts. She moved to inner Richmond to major in Cinema, slated to graduate in two years with two degrees and two gunshot wounds. But only a year passed before Mariel left the scrappy pressure cooker that was VCU Arts to pursue Cognitive Science at the University of Virginia. Currently double-majoring in Cognitive Science/Neuroscience and Studio Art/Cinematography, Mariel intends to fuse the two realms into an anarchic interdisciplinary career straddling multimodal storytelling and neuropsychological research. While living in Charlottesville, Mariel rejoined Light House Studio as a mentor, so she could perform psychological experiments on unwitting children and their parents. For that she sends out a big thank you, and warns you all to stay away from the color orange.

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