Daniel Valenza Art Scholarship

This scholarship provides assistance to a junior or senior art major with a demonstrated concentration in woodworking or furniture making.  If there is no eligible student, the award may be given to a student with a demonstrated concentration in sculpture. This scholarship was established by UNH alumni to honor Professor Emeritus Daniel Valenza who taught woodworking/furniture design in the Department of Art and Art History from 1959 to 1999. This year we are delighted to work with sculptor E.J. Theriault.

Name: E.J. Theriault
Hometown (city, state): Hampstead, New Hampshire
Department, major: UNH Department of Art and Art History, Fine Arts Major w/ a concentration in Sculpture
Expected graduation year: Spring 2021

How did you choose your major and why? As an undeclared student my first semester as a freshman, I explored a variety of classes and enrolled in a biology class which I immediately dropped after the first meeting. With a gap that needed to be filled, I registered for Professor Ben Cariens evening drawing class and was instantly sucked back into the magical world of creating. During the same semester I was also taking Professor Don Williams Intro. to Ceramics class. Having the combination of these two classes rekindled my lifelong admiration for art that started back in grade school. I knew after that first semester that Art was the route I needed to take in order to feel fulfilled.

How is the Daniel Valenza scholarship helping you achieve your goals? As the recipient of the Daniel Valenza scholarship I have been given financial assistance that has helped me pursue a professional degree in Fine Arts. The scholarship offers support in a field that is often undervalued by the mainstream business world and I hope to bring more recognition into the soulful expression of the human imagination.

What is particularly awesome about being in the Department of Art and Art History?
As an art student I have found myself amongst a group of people with a diverse range of personality and skill that never ceases to inspire me. As part of the BFA program, my peers and I have been able to form a tiny community of our own that is motivating, nurturing and honest. It is comforting to be around quirky individuals who aren’t afraid of self expression. By being a student in the Art Department I have been able to experience a wide variety of courses that I certainly would never have had the opportunity to take.

What are your post-graduation plans at this point? My main hope after graduation is to venture out to the western states to get a change of scenery. I have been looking into a handful of art related positions such as interior design, event planning and art programs at summer camps, but do not have any concrete career plans at the moment. In all honesty, there is no telling what exactly the future will bring.

What is the one thing people might be surprised to learn about you?
I am an IVF baby and was frozen in a test tube for 3 and a half years as an embryo (making me as old as, if not older than my 25 year old sisters, even though I am physically recognized as being 22). I can also juggle chintzy Walmart steak knives while balancing on an INDO board :)