Dear beloved readers, it is my pleasure to introduce a very special young lady for this week’s “Meet the Editor:” Nadia Marrero-Silva, a Design major, and Senior here at Maryville College.
Nadia Marrero-Silva was born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico and moved to the United States when she was very young. Though she has spent most of her childhood and adult life in the United States, per her request, let the record show that she is still a proud Puerto Rican.
If you’ve spent any time on campus at all, you probably have met Nadia a few times, as she seems to be everywhere. She works as the marketing assistant at our Career Center, a web editor for the Echo, and as an on-campus gallery intern.
Apart from all her jobs and classes on campus, Nadia is currently gearing up for her senior show called “The Fall of Raguel.”
“It’s about an angel of vengeance who’s sent to Hell to save one of God’s most beloved humans,” Nadia said regarding the idea behind her show. “That’s a really simple way of putting it.”
Dr. Adrienne Schwarte, Chair of the Fine Arts Division and Associate Professor of Art and Design, worked closely with Nadia to develop her senior show.
“Nadia has a really interesting thesis topic,” Schwarte said.
“She is focusing on some religious symbology in art, and is doing some construction building for her space. She is thinking holistically with her show and exhibition and is transforming the space into an experience. I think Nadia is one of those students who is very intentional with everything she does, and puts a lot of thought and work into everything she’s involved in. I think that is a distinctive feature of Nadia”
Nadia has a unique style that sets her apart from the crowd in the art world and also in the fashion world. With her sharp black eyeliner, all black clothes, and combat-style leather boots, she has defined her look. However, appearances can be deceiving.
“People are usually intimidated by me, and I find that funny,” Nadia said regarding her style and public perception. “I’m all rock and roll and heavy, black-soul on the outside, but I’ve got to be one of the softest people I know. My favorite pastime is listening to people talk about their feelings. What’s so hardcore about that?”
When I asked Nadia to tell me about her time in college, she gave the most truthful answer that anyone has given me regarding the subject.
“College for me has been in a word: rough,” she said. “I came into my freshman year determined to do well, and I did for a long while until things started going downhill in my personal life.”
Nadia described to me how difficult some of her time here at school has been. Battling relentless depression that collides with external and internal pressures to do well in school makes it tough, but when life continues to throw curveballs your way it can seem impossible to keep going.
“Last year was the worst of it,” Nadia said. “Someone I deeply loved passed away, and that did a lot of damage to me. I didn’t care about college anymore. It seemed insignificant in the grand scheme of everything, but the pressure to perform never left, so I’m muddling my way through the rest of it. I hate disappointing people, so I’m trying my best to keep going – through college and through life.”
Sometimes we can find a support system when we need it, in the places where we least expect it to come from.
“Luckily, I have a support system here that’s helped me greatly, and I want to say something about Adrienne Schwarte,” Nadia said. “She is a force. She has never met me with anything but endless patience and understanding, and I’ve been a handful. She’s guided me through everything, and there aren’t enough words in this universe to express how thankful I am for her. I don’t think I’d be a few weeks out from graduating if it weren’t for her. She has a lot of truly undeserved faith in me and inspires me to want to do better.”
Nadia is a phoenix of a women, currently mid-rise out of the damper of a life that might have permanently stifled a less fervent individual. I believe at some point life will throw its blows at each and every one of us, and when the battle through depression, anxiety, shock or sadness has subsided, the person left standing is the stronger and wiser part of who we once were. With a strength unbeknown even to herself, Nadia continues to press on, in her search for solid footing, all the while inspiring those of us that have the pleasure of knowing her along the way.
Don’t forget to come see Nadia’s senior show in the Blackberry Farm Gallery here on campus. Her work will be displayed May 7th through May 18th with a reception on May 17th from 6-8 p.m.