Timing may be everything...

Greg Slimko, - Student Ambassador, Digital Modeling & Fabrication

Meet Greg Slimko!  He is one of our new Student Ambassadors in the Digital Modeling & Fabrication program.

Firing up my dinghy motor early this am and leaving from my 1967 34’ sloop sailboat, my home base for the school week, I couldn't help but feel a sense of accomplishment in this little action to motor myself to class. The foggy weather, marginal at best for a New England fall, can be beautiful. Regardless, I know this unique way of arriving at IYRS is something that I have been dreaming of for a long time, and I’m finally attending class in Newport!

I left my marina dock, putt-puttin’ while eating a freshly picked fall apple gotten from a land-based weekend excursion… This is my process as a career changer, tangible evidence of the fruits of my labor is delightfully evident. A slice of foggy heaven and a morning dinghy ride. Finally, self-evolution is in the works!

I come to IYRS holding Master of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Fine Art in Photography and Digital Media degrees. I'm a lifelong sailor. As career changer and former Project Manager in the architectural signage industry, I felt it was time to follow my passions and leave the office cubicle behind. I am used to deadlines, equipment logistics, safety measures, and profit margins. These are all great life and business skills to have, however somehow a departure from what I like to do best: sail, make art, and explore the process of rekindling joy within my life’s path.

The decision to attend IYRS is by no mistake. Life has a funny way of working things out, within the appropriate time frame. Interest, talents, previous skills, and a little hard work were needed to discover what it means to be passionate about what I do - not as a career, but as a lifestyle. I don’t have all the answers; however, I am searching, asking questions, and taking the time to decide each movement along the way.

Growing up in Michigan for the first 24 years of life, my dad taught me how to sail on Lake St. Clair. In contrast, my Uncle, my dad’s brother, is the power boater of the family. Every first week in August, we’d make waves on the way to many ports on our family vacation. These times growing up were the happiest times I can remember! My dad, an electrical engineer, and my mom, an artist and legal secretary, taught me not only my work ethic, but also how to enjoy myself on the water. Now that my dad has passed, I think of him every time I sail our 1967 Morgan 34’ sailboat in Buzzards Bay or crew on a 47’ Stephens in Provincetown while smiling back to those golden days of what he taught me.

After my graduation with my BFA from Western Michigan University, I decided to follow my sister (13 years older, and yes, from the same parents, lol) to the East coast. Discovering Avon, Connecticut, Boston, Taunton, Massachusetts and now Rhode Island, I am dovetailing my past career skills with my passion - boating! Everything I have has been created by hand. The self-renovated lake house my partner and I live in and the 34’ Morgan we sail all come from the desire to preserve, restore, and continue to breathe life into. It seems if it isn’t challenging, it isn't worth it. Speaking of which, stars have aligned in order to attend class today!

Currently enrolled in the Digital Modeling & Fabrication program at IYRS, I hope to learn aesthetic and technical skills for a new career trajectory in the marine world. With an open mind toward where my new Digital Modeling & Fabrication knowledge will take me, I know that the artistic skills learned and my past work and travel experiences will allow me to bring something new to the table. Let’s see what this academic year will bring, along with this “tack” of learning.