Living and working in Verder Hall

Samantha Rainwater

Rachael Edmiston, junior fashion design major and Verder Hall artist-in-residence, works on drawings in the Verder fashion studio. Edmiston spends her office hours in the studio so she can help younger students and answer questions.

Credit: Steve Schirra

It is 12:30 a.m., and two students sit at desks in the Verder Hall fashion studio. Sketchbooks, markers, pencils and wadded up pieces of paper cover the white desktops.

“Having this studio is a big advantage for me,” said sophomore fashion design major Jessica Casler. “It’s open 24 hours so I can concentrate on my work whenever I need to.”

Rachael Edmiston, junior fashion design major and Verder Hall fashion artist-in-residence, said she would like to increase involvement in the program that allows fashion students to live and work in one building.

Edmiston said the program not only gives students a place to work, but also allows them to build relationships with older students in their field of study.

“We want to maintain a comfortable environment for people to get their work done,” Edmiston said. “I’m there to get to know the students in the studio and answer any questions they have.”

Verder Residence Hall Director Charles Malone said the artist-in-residence is available to help explain assignments and show younger students how to use equipment.

“The artist-in-residence helps younger students navigate the program and is someone students can bounce ideas off of,” Malone said.

Malone said the program has been in place since before he was at Verder Hall, but he said he would also like to see increased involvement.

“We have a fair amount of students that choose to live in Verder for the fashion studio, but it’s something I’d like to see increase,” Malone said.

Casler said she chose to live in Verder so she could take advantage of the studio and meet other fashion majors.

“The artist-in-residence is always doing portfolio reviews and helping us improve,” Casler said. “It’s just a very creative environment.”

Edmiston, like Casler, moved to Verder to take advantage of the studio space. She said she didn’t have much space for her supplies when she lived in Apple Hall her freshman year, and she didn’t like having to store her sewing machine and supplies in an inaccessible place.

“I would have to put my sewing machine away in the closet after every time I used it,” Edmiston said. “When I came to Verder, I had a studio space where I could spread out my supplies and a desk to work on. Moving here my sophomore year was like a dream.”

While many fashion students have their own equipment, the Verder fashion studio provides sewing machines and other specialized machines. Students also have access to donated magazines and fabric materials and pattern paper.

However, Edmiston said she found more than supplies and a convenient work area in the studio. She said her artist-in-residence gave her emotional support when classes began to get difficult.

“Last year’s artist-in-residence would show me her wo rk so I could see that I had something to look forward to,” Edmiston said.

She said this was helpful because the fashion program doesn’t give students enough chances to see where they are headed.

Edmiston said she hopes to increase communication between the Verder Hall community and professors in the School of Fashion Design and Merchandising. She also has a number of programs planned for the semester, such as a T-shirt decorating contest, programs teaching students how to use the sewing machines and sergers and trips to museums.

Edmiston said she’d like to see more students become interested in the Verder fashion community.

Contact fashion reporter Samantha Rainwater at [email protected].