“Before college I wasn’t social at all, I didn’t have anyone to show my ideas, but here I can show my work and see their reactions, and that makes me want to create more.”
Hometown: Clarksville, Tennessee
Jeremy Vega utters the phrase often: “I kinda went a bit overboard.”
The Austin Peay State University art student used a version of the phrase to describe a robot he built using paper: “I kind of went over.”
And he wrote those exact words on Instagram to describe the panda he 3D-printed for a friend: “Someone wanted me to draw a 2D panda playing the cello, so I was like, ‘All right,’ but I kinda went a bit overboard and made it in the next dimension."
“I like to go the extra mile,” Vega, a sophomore who graduated from Northeast High in Clarksville, said. “I like to challenge myself with my ideas.”
The assignment for the Foundations Studio II art class – if not the actual work – was simple: “Make a chair from cardboard that you can sit in,” Vega said.
That set Vega’s mind in motion: “What would be really cool that everyone likes that they wouldn’t do? I wanted to put moving parts on mine, to make it work.”
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As he puts it, the chair took “lots of hours and dedication.”
“I even burned myself in the process while also cutting myself accidentally countless of times,” Vega said.
The chair has a spinning umbrella, a steering feature, pedals and, of course, wheels. The chair rolls and turns.
“Art is my passion, above anything, above math, above science,” Vega said. “I really like it when someone sees my work and are, ‘Oh, my gosh, that’s so cool!’”
The Austin Peay Art and Design building opened in Fall 2017.