Vanessa Robbins holding two paintings she gifted to UMN Crookston

CROOKSTON, Minn. - University of Minnesota Crookston alumna Vanessa Robbins gave back to her alma mater for everything it gave her by providing two pieces of art that will be displayed on campus in the Office of Admissions.

“The first piece, “‘Dreams Await’, came to me in a dream,” Robbins said. “I dreamed of an orange foal with Monarch butterfly wings. It was so inspiring I knew I had to draw it. For the sake of the piece, I took some creative liberty and made the foal blue instead of orange. I thought blue would be a nice contrasting color to the orange wings. The black markings however, were there in my dream, and made it into the final piece. This piece's youthful energy matches my own, and its bright and contrasting colors represent me and my personality. To me this piece also represents the start of college, as you have so many dreams that await you when you begin your college career.”

The second piece Robbins created is a maroon and gold giraffe with the spots representing UMN Crookston. “I do not have a title for this piece, partly because I didn't know what to call it, and partly because UMC represents something different to everyone,” Robbins stated. “To me, UMC represents my home away from home. This campus also represents the lifelong friendships I made here, the knowledge I gained, and how I grew as a person during my time as a college student. To others, it may represent the sports team they were on, the club they were in, or the studies they undertook. That is why I tried to incorporate many items from the campus and the surrounding area into this piece. From the sugar beet, to the hockey sticks and horseshoe, there is a little bit of something for everyone who has connections to UMC in this piece. I hope to someday turn this piece into a mural somewhere in Crookston. Hopefully one day that dream will come true, but until then, I hope you, the viewer, find as much meaning in this piece as I do.”

Robbins graduated from UMN Crookston in 2019 with a bachelor of science degree in biology. She is currently working as veterinary assistant at Petco doing preventative medicine for cats and dogs, vaccinations, micro-chips, and prescribing preventative medicine. The Rosemount, Minn., native was a member of the Art Club at UMN Crookston.

Story Contact: Shawn Smith