By the time Anjali Moore ’22 graduated high school, she knew what kind of artist she wanted to be. Her next steps, however, were up in the air.
Concerned about holding onto the confidence and artistic style she cultivated in the art classes in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program at her high school, Moore was faced with the decision to pursue art school or explore other interests.
“I ended up choosing between the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and Macalester,” Moore said. “I felt really validated once I was accepted [to SAIC] because I knew I was accepted off of the merit of my own work, but I didn’t want to limit myself to only art.”
Moore’s acceptance to art school was a huge feat, which her IB art classes prepared her for, but she continues to wonder what her life would be like had she chosen SAIC.
“I often think about the choice that I made,” Moore said.
Moore credits IB for giving her independence, discipline and resources to hone her mediums of choice: mixed media collage and oil painting.
“[IB] really teaches you to work independently; you have to create your own body of work and work on a schedule, but you have to work on a schedule with research and techniques,” Moore said. “I learned printmaking, drawing, watercolor; they really teach you how to be an artist on your own.”
Majors in studio art and art history at Macalester require classes that are more academic in nature. Moore originally intended to pursue art classes in college, but she doesn’t feel a need to utilize the academic setting. Right now, her art practice mainly takes place in her dorm room.
“I don’t need to do art in an academic way,” Moore said. “I already know what kind of art I want to be making and I have so many ideas that I just want the space, resources and constructive advice to help me with that.”
After taking a painting class, she finished the semester dissatisfied with most of her work.
Moore’s inspiration comes naturally. She has a deep knowledge — and borderline obsession — with the 1960s and draws on politics, film, culture and music in her own work. Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, Ed Ruscha, Jasper Johns and Sister Corita Kent are some of her role models.
“I’ll see Rauschenberg’s works and cry,” Moore said.
But she values more than just what the artists of the ’60s created; Moore adopts their technical practices and purposes for making art. It’s here where Moore sees parallels between the 1960s and today.
“I use a lot of their actual techniques like text and image together and collaging with found objects or bigger materials,” Moore said. “I try to use their intentions by making it political or taking what was going on around them and condensing it into something.”
Poetry and music inspire a great deal of Moore’s work as she has a knack for visualizing words or phrases. Bob Dylan is on her iPhone case to prove what a fan she is.
“Words or phrases will get stuck in my head,” Moore said. “I will immediately think of [them] as going with a specific image or picture, or the other way around.”
Back in Moore’s hometown of Phoenix, Ariz., her involvement in the local arts scene stretches between music, social life and activism. She hasn’t been able to find a Twin Cities replacement, though.
“I have tried finding a scene like what’s in Phoenix but I haven’t found one yet with all of the different features,” Moore said.
A distinct arts scene is something that Moore could have found at SAIC, for example, but she has made the best of what Macalester has to offer. She doesn’t view Macalester’s liberal arts structure as a fault, and appreciates artistic spaces such as WMCN, SPACES and Undercurrent Arts Collective.
“It’s different [at Macalester] because my friends are friends for different reasons and I think it’s pushed me to become friends with a lot of different types of people,” Moore said. “Sometimes I do miss the artistic community, though.”
As for where she sees her art career going, Moore isn’t sure, though she knows she’ll always be an artist due to her passions and intense IB art training.