Emma Hagemeier ’23, Woodbury, Minn.
Major/Minors: Art with a concentration in Design; Communication Studies and Spanish

Please tell us about yourself.

I am a local artist in the F-M area and a senior studying art with a concentration in design, communication studies, and Spanish. I am always creating. I love art and expressing myself in a creative way. I love camping, books, iced chai lattes, plants, and my cat Mabel.

How did you hear about Concordia and why did you choose to attend college here?

My fiance’s mom is a Cobber grad. She suggested I visit campus, and I was sold right away! I was really attracted to the small class size and the tightknit community that Concordia has to offer.

What do you love about living in the Fargo-Moorhead area?

I think there is a great community here. I have found so many people that I love to spend time with and be around. We like to go out to eat, and there are so many good local spots downtown and around the F-M area. It is especially fun in the summertime when you can eat outside, and there are things like the Red River Market or the Vintage Market and other festivals happening around town. I also love to bike around the area. There are plenty of fun things to do that are within biking or walking distance from campus. There is nothing like a bike ride to the Moorhead Dairy Queen.

What activities are you involved in?

My internship at CoSchedule along with other local freelance work keeps me the busiest. Lately, I have also been spending a lot of my time on my work for the Senior Art Show, an exhibition that senior art majors and minors participate in that takes place before graduation.

How did you decide on your areas of study?

I actually started college as a biology major! I quickly learned that a STEM major wasn’t for me when I took my first art class. I have loved making art my whole life, but it really felt right to declare it as a major and practice art full time.

Do you have a favorite course or professor and why?

This is so hard to pick. I have thoroughly enjoyed every class that I have taken, especially for my art major. All of the art faculty are such wonderful people that make me excited to learn and create. If I had to pick a few, Dark Room Photography, Printmaking, Video Production, and Three Dimensional Foundations stick out as being some of my favorites.

What are the benefits of being an art major at Concordia?

The small class sizes are definitely a big reason I love being an art major at Concordia. You really get to know the professors and the people in your major and they know you and your work really well, so they are able to provide you with specific guidance as you study and create.

What inspires you to create art and what is your favorite medium?

Really anything can spark an idea in my mind that gets me excited to create. From the people in my life to a pretty landscape to some funky-looking knickknacks in a thrift store. Art is all around and I am constantly inspired.

Picking a favorite medium is so hard because I have tried just about everything. Learning a new process is so fun, and I am always looking for new things to try. My current favorites are silk-screen printing, linocut printing, dark room photography and, of course, digital illustration.

What led you to be the commissioned artist for the Fargo Film Festival’s 2023 program cover and how does it feel to be chosen?

Oh, it is just an honor! Professor Greg Carlson is closely involved with the Fargo Film Festival, and he encouraged me to submit my portfolio to the folks who are in charge of choosing a local artist to create the poster. It is such a cool thing to be a part of and to have followed so many other wonderful artists in this area. Seeing my work used for this festival has really been something very special.

Seeing my work used for this festival has really been something very special.”

Please explain the thought process behind the design you created for the Fargo Film Festival.

I wanted the vibe to be a modern take on a vintage diner scene from a movie, if that makes sense. The poster features three stills from a diner, all contained in a section of a film reel strip. To me, it almost feels like stills from a comfort movie you’ve seen a thousand times but still brings you just as much joy as when you saw it for the very first time.

The 2023 Fargo Film Festival Program Guide cover designed by Emma Hagemeier ’23

Have you had a PEAK (Pivotal Experience in Applied Knowledge) opportunity and, if so, what did you learn?

I have! I went on the PEAK + Camp May Seminar trip titled “Encountering Landscape through Nature Writing as Public Philosophy and the Art of the American West” led by Chris Mortenson and Tess Varner. It was nearly a month on the road, an epic road trip camping all over the American West. We looked at the lands through the lens of photography to critically look at land use and public spaces. We also looked at the tradition of American nature writing as a kind of philosophy, as a way to advocate responsible relationships with the land. It was a great privilege to have been able to embark on such an incredible adventure and experience the West and our public lands in such a remarkable way. I will never forget the way I felt on this life-changing trip.

What type of work do you do at your internship with CoSchedule?

I design a variety of blog posts, webpages, sales collateral, infographics, and marketing materials for the company. During my time there, I have worked on more than 200 pages of published content — all contributing to a 228% increase in website traffic during my tenure. It’s pretty cool!

Who have been your biggest supporters or mentors?

I wouldn’t be where I am today without the overwhelming support of the people in my life. My family and friends, my supervisors at CoSchedule, and the entire art faculty have been my biggest cheerleaders, celebrating my wins and encouraging me to be the best version of myself.

What advice would you give to a high school student from the Twin Cities who is considering Concordia?

I would say to do things that make you get out of your comfort zone. The four-ish hours from home give you a new sense of independence and a feeling of wanting to find yourself all over again. Try new things, meet new people, and give yourself grace. College is so fun and the four years go by so fast. Also, don't forget to call the people you love and visit home when you can.

What are your plans following graduation?

I will work as a graphic designer in the area and also continue with my freelance work. I have a few things in the works right now that I am very pumped about that will be out in the wild soon after graduation.

The Red River Market hired me as a designer for the upcoming summer market, so I am working on designs for stickers, prints, bandanas, tote bags, and things like that. Look out for them if you find yourself at the market this summer!

I also got commissioned to design a new can label for Wild Terra, the local hard cider bar in Fargo. I am very excited to see my designs featured at a local business and sold in stores.

Anything else you would like to add?

I am so grateful for all the opportunities I have been given and I am proud of the work I have done to get me to the spot where I am today. Thank you to everyone who has supported me along the way. It has been a great four years and I am excited for all that is to come!

Published March 2023