Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Getting Visual at Saks

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Getting Visual at Saks

Article excerpt

Hunter Slade knew what he wanted to do at an early age.

"I've always been drawn to art and not sports, so I always knew art would be my calling in life," he said.

Slade, now 23, was a senior in high school in Arlington, Virginia, when he found out about the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota.

Fast forward five years, and Slade is a Ringling College graduate, with a degree in fine arts painting and installation art and was recently hired as a "visual associate" for the Saks Fifth Avenue department store in the Mall at University Town Center.

Slade says his job with Saks is still very visual. He's creating new, unique and artistic displays for Saks products every day. Plus, he still gets to paint a little, too.

UNRAVEL: When you were getting ready to graduate, what was your ideal job?

Slade: As a fine artist, the thought of a career was scary. But after some creative research on what exactly a fine artist could do as a profession (besides the standard gallery artist), I found many unique options I never knew existed. I found myself looking into visual-display jobs for companies. There was something about making visual displays and interacting with high-end fashion that caught my attention.

I never knew I could use my love for art and now fashion as one.

Staying in Sarasota was important to me. Over the nearly five years I've lived here, I noticed how much of a tight-knit family this community really is and how it supports the arts and music.

Sarasota is a place I could actually imagine raising my son in and continuing my love and passion for art-making with such a wonderful company like Saks.

UNRAVEL: How did you end up at Saks Fifth Avenue? Had you considered working in retail before?

Slade: At first, I never knew how much art and design came into play at companies like Saks Fifth Avenue. After some research, I went searching for the perfect company for my future career.

After submitting to every company I had a love for, weeks went by then all the offers came rolling in somehow. …

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