Feature: Averie Perryman, an art aficionado who walks among us

“Friday Features” share the stories of members of the Rockhurst community and their endeavors beyond academics.


Kori Hines

Averie Perryman, ’20

Rockhurst junior Averie Perryman is a student who “like[s] to make people happy with art,” she said.

Perryman hopes to obtain a prestigious internship with an arts-oriented company like Cartoon Network.

She said, “Animation was my first love,” so the 20-year-old hopes to one day develop her own animation studio.

Perryman’s love of art began in middle school when, as part of an anti-drug campaign and competition, Perryman designed a poster featuring an upturned monkey with the tagline: “hang with me and be drug-free.” The poster won Perryman the school-wide competition.

Her experience with the campaign helped Perryman discover the pleasure of developing art and having it admired. She invested more time into her passion, creating works of her own and joining the middle school art club.

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But Perryman’s interest in art was stalled when her family moved from her home-state to Omaha, Nebraska. At the time, Perryman said, “I thought, ‘art is my Mississippi thing, not my Nebraska thing.’”

Perryman did not know it, but art was still alive within her.

In high school, she would day-dreamily draw in her notebooks. She didn’t give much thought to her doodles until one day a teacher commented on how she seemed to put more interest into her illustrations than she did her classwork.

This observation brought an awareness to teenage Perryman – that, maybe, art was just her thing and it didn’t matter where she was when she freed her mind within it.

Later Perryman took a mixed-media class where her innate inventiveness met technique. She learned to build a basket using magazine coils, a method she applied to the construction of an asymmetrical hat.

The hat design, which Perryman named “Baroque Chapeau,” won her regional first place in the 2014 National Scholastics Art and Writing Awards competition. In New York, at the national competition, she won second place.

With an interest in the structuring and crafting involved in producing art, it may come as no surprise that Perryman was intrigued by the shaping and sculpting of mechanical engineering. The two hobbies demonstrate Perryman’s ability to visualize.

While it offered a good start to her college journey, Perryman decided to shift her focus from engineering, changing her major to strategic communication. Sticking to her passion, she also pursues a minor in art.

Before attending Rockhurst, Perryman planned to attend a Nebraskan college. In fact, she expressed little interest in attending a Jesuit university. But after an overnight campus visit and a conversation with an admissions counselor, Kansas City became her home.

Since coming to Rockhurst, Perryman has not grown in art alone, but in relationships too.

“She is accepting and supportive…A person [with whom] I can have deep and important conversations,” said Molly Haddick, ’20.

Teachers, too, value Perryman and have encouraged in her relationship with her craft.

Laura Janusik, PhD, piqued Perryman’s interest with an internship in social media where Perryman says she enjoys graphic design and expanding her repertoire.

“Averie is intelligent [and] humble,” said Janusik.

“Her growth has come [from] researching best practices and applying them. She does amazing work, Janusik added.”

Perryman hopes to continue learning about art so that she can refine her skills and keep generating art that makes people happy.

Interested in joining the Sentinel staff? Contact our Editor, Kori Hines, at [email protected] to see how you can get involved.