Senior Spotlight: Clifford McDonald Posted on May 18th, 2020 by

The “Senior Spotlight” series honors graduating fine arts majors for their contributions to the Gustavus community.

Clifford McDonald is a studio art major. After graduation, he hopes to begin a career in marketing and design, or possibly go into the military or police force. Art faculty member Stan Shetka has instructed Clifford in various sculpture mediums during his time at Gustavus. “Cliff amazed himself with the first works of art that he produced in the courses he took from me,” Shetka says. “He discovered the power of expression and was willing to take on the challenges that creativity exposed him to. I am excited about his current work and I look forward to observing where it will take him in the future.”

We asked Clifford to give us a little insight into his time at Gustavus and how he’s continuing his art while living at home.

What will you miss most about art at Gustavus?
CM: Art at Gustavus gave me the opportunity to speak through my works and show emotion that was embraced by my experiences.

What is a favorite memory you have from studying art at Gustavus?
CM: My favorite memories are the critiques that I have endured. They helped me grow and I became even more passionate about how I make my art and the conversation it creates.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to high school students considering Gustavus?
CM: Make goals so you can surpass them through hard work and determination.

How are you continuing your art education in your new surroundings?
CM: Within my new surroundings I am able to create designs for businesses and startups.

What has it been like to continue to produce art at home?
CM: As challenging as this time is, I went from creating sculptures to creating photos which helped further my digital designs and art perspective.

What professor has made the biggest impact on you and why?
CM: Stan Shetka has been a big help from the beginning to the end of my years at Gustavus. He constantly pushed me to do better and create more, and he just lit a fire in me which helped me create the works that I have done now.

What do you look forward to most about life after Gustavus?
CM: After Gustavus I look forward to failing and learning from my mistakes. I plan to follow the path God has set for me leading with my faith and not by my own sight.

View Clifford’s works in Despite Distance…Senior Studio Art Majors Exhibition 2020.



  1. Jonnae Wilson says:

    Great job!! Seeing your goals thru!! Proud of you Clifford!!

  2. Tim Kennedy says:

    Cliff, I am so proud of all you have accomplished at Gustavus. You have persevered and become an individual that is a role model for others. I am excited for the opportunities ahead of you. Thank you for sharing your light with all of us in the Gustavus community.