To Be, Rather Than to Seem

Visiting Artist Collaborates with Students on Mobile App Development

Last night, the AHN community gathered in the Bailey Family Center for the Arts for the 15th annual Visiting Artist event. This year’s guest speaker was Academy alumna Kathryn Reina A’06.

After graduating from Academy of the Holy Names in 2006, Kathryn attended College of Charleston, majoring in arts management with a concentration in historic preservation and community planning. After college, she pivoted careers into Front End Development, Graphics and UI/UX Design. Kathryn now lives in Los Angeles, where she works with technology startups, celebrity and high-end luxury real estate clientele. Kathryn recently collaborated with Jesuit alumnus Ryan Lockwood to Launch, an app offering common “cents” for managing student debt elimination.

Throughout her presentation, Kathryn took time to describe her educational background, project history, and even offered students advice on entering creative fields. Over the past few years, Kathryn has worked in collaboration with the Oxford Exchange, Walter Sky apparel, and even had her work with a boutique hotel, Villa Carlotta, featured in Vogue.

As someone who did not figure out what career she wanted to pursue until after she had attended college, Kathryn spoke of the power of persistence when discerning what makes you happy. She took time to directly address AHN students, reminding them of the importance of sticking up for what you believe in and never being afraid to advocate for your ideas.

In addition to the Visiting Artist presentation, Kathryn spent the last few days working with Academy students on a collaborative app development project. The goal of this project was for Visual Art Students to design a UI (user interface) style guide (logo, header, colors, fonts, graphics, etc.) for an app conceptualized and programmed by AP Computer Science students. 

The Visual Art Students acted as the design leads, collaborating with their clients (the AP Computer Science students) to bring their visions to life. The girls participated in designer-client meetings where the AP Computer Science students explained the purpose of the application and which populations they were attempting to target. The art students then had time to design research ideas and sketch concepts while the AP Computer Science girls worked on the technical programming end of development. The groups came back together for final design meetings where logos, color schemes, and style guides were presented to the "clients." Kathryn worked closely with each group during the final designer-client meeting, offering them advice on how to improve their overall application and providing tutorials for designers.

AHN junior Lauren L. stated, “I really enjoyed being able to collaborate with the actual creators of the app and hearing what they wanted in their design. It made it feel so real life and I think it was a great way to be exposed to how a true customer-designer meeting would go in the workforce. I aso thought it was a unique experience in that I was able to challenge my digital and drawing skills at the same time and bring them together into one piece.”

As a female in a predominately male field, Kathryn reminded the girls that sometimes it pays off to be a strong female force in the workroom, saying, "I always sort of like being the only woman. Because then I get to come in and prove to them that I know what I'm talking about!" 

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