Student Spotlight: Kimberly Kuba

Kimberly Kuba

Kimberly Kuba
Major: Associate in Science/Art

Kimberly Kuba is already an accomplished artist. A member of the La Grange Art League since her junior year in high school, Kuba exhibits and sells her work through the league as well as on a web site she opened on Etsy.

But she also wants to pursue a career in art education. Instead of going away to school, Kuba felt comfortable coming to College of DuPage, which she already knew because of the good experience her brother had.

“I didn’t want to be one of those people who would be overwhelmed with the whole experience of going off by yourself, away from your family and friends, to a place you weren’t familiar with at all,” she said. “I wanted to commute from home so that I could get used to college.”

Kuba enrolled at College of DuPage, and her plan was on target.

“COD helped me toward achieving my dream of becoming an art teacher, but it also helped me learn what I needed to do to and what it took to succeed in college,” she said.

Kuba, who maintained a 4.0 GPA, graduated with an Associate in Science degree and then transferred to Northern Illinois University, where she switched majors from Art Education to Illustration to keep up with the growing integration between art and technology. She received the Huskie Legacy Award, which is a scholarship for students whose family members also attended NIU; maintained a 4.0 GPA; and was inducted into Tau Sigma Honor Society, geared toward transfer students, and Phi Kappa Phi. In 2014, she received the O’Malley-Pugh Scholarship, awarded through the NIU School of Art after a portfolio review.

In 2015, she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and was selected to be a Student Marshall for the College of Visual and Performing Arts during the commencement ceremony. Kuba also received the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Artistry, Contributions and Academic Achievement. This annual award goes to only one student from each of the individual colleges within NIU.

But she didn’t leave NIU, as she was accepted into the school’s MFA program to pursue a master’s with an emphasis in painting. She also is a graduate assistant for the Painting and Drawing department, and as an MFA candidate, she received her own studio space.  

“I was able to work alongside my professors with undergraduate art classes in the painting department. This allowed me to gain firsthand experience in the classroom and fueled my passion for teaching even more,” she said.

During the past year, she was part of a group show at the Zhou B. Art Center in Chicago and the 2016 Rockford Midwestern Biennial at the Rockford Art Museum. In the fall, Kuba is excited about teaching Drawing II for undergraduate students, and she will co-curate a show at NIU’s gallery space, Gallery 214.

Kuba has developed a website to showcase all of her work, including her portfolio that she submitted for graduate school. Click here to view her web site.

“I love working with paint, specifically acrylics and oils on stretched canvas. The subject matter in my work tends to change, although I do have a fondness for dark, contrasting color combinations as well as surrealistic landscapes.”

She is thankful that College of DuPage provided a sound foundation for her continued success.

“At COD, I also learned a lot about myself along the way as I continued my art both inside and outside of school with a different perspective in mind,” she said.

More about COD’s transfer programs

More about COD’s Art program