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Notable graduates: Merikay Payne — Division of Continuing Studies graduate with a passion for the arts

May 14, 2009

Becoming a college graduate is no foreign concept to 56-year-old Merikay Payne, who will graduate this spring with her second bachelor’s degree from UW–Madison.

“To have gained the confidence to show people your work, have them enjoy it and buy it, is satisfying.”

Merikay Payne

Payne, who will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in studio art with an emphasis on printmaking, earned her first bachelor’s from UW–Madison in broadcast journalism in 1975.

Since then, Payne has worked for the Division of Continuing Studies as a senior artist, raised a family and earned an associate’s degree in graphic and Web design from Madison Area Technical College. She began her studies in DCS in 2003.

“To have gained the confidence to show people your work, have them enjoy it and buy it, is satisfying,” Payne says.

Payne says she was inspired to earn her second bachelor’s after participating in the Extension Leadership Development Program in 2001-02. She also took part in DCS’s Wisconsin Regional Artist Program, where her work was chosen to be exhibited in the Statewide Regional Art Exhibit held on campus each August and September.

Although she is graduating, Payne will continue to be involved in the DCS program. She is currently planning curriculum with Professor Leslee Nelson, who coordinates the Statewide Regional Art Exhibit, for the DCS course “The Business of Art,” which will begin in the fall.

Payne has also been an active member of the Madison-area art community, serving on the board of directors for 14 South Artists and Madison Art Guild. She also annually exhibits her art from her home print studio.