Photo by Natalie Runyon
Growing up in Marseilles, France, Pauline Pimolle has always felt a connection with art and photography. Although she got her first camera when she was 17, Pimolle feels like she was always meant to be a photographer.
Even as a teen in dance school and later when she was momentarily pursuing an art history degree in France, Pimolle always enjoyed being behind the lenses. Photography was always the art form she always felt the most comfortable with it.
This connection eventually led her to Columbus, Miss. where she is now a senior at the W majoring in Fine Arts with an emphasis in photography.
A French international student, Pimolle first came to the U.S. in 2014. It wasn’t until the spring of 2017 that she joined the program at the W. While pursuing an associate degree at East Mississippi Community College, Pimolle came across professors there who recommended The W. She hasn’t looked back since.
Ever since enrolling at the W, Pimolle has been recognized several times. She won the President’s Exhibition Award in 2018 and the Mississippi Collegiate Art Competition this year.
The now 28-year-old is not only an international student, but she is also a non-traditional one.
In addition to being engaged, she also has a 10-year-old “step daughter” that she is very close to. Her fiancé, Matt, and his daughter Sadie are both very encouraging of her art and are often subjects in her photographs.
“My step daughter was a little confused when she first met me because she was very young, and I was from another country,” Pimolle said. “But she likes that I’m French and that I’m doing an art degree.”
Pimolle has loved being at the W. Pimolle believes that the teachers that she has had at The W and the access to equipment has also really helped her hone her art.
“I really like the fact that it’s a small campus,” Pimolle said. “The faculty apartment [the university provided] was also very helpful.”
Pimolle knows that there are misconceptions that come with being an art student.
“People think it’s just pressing a button but there’s so much that goes into a single photo,” Pimolle said. “Everybody can take a picture, but it takes a lot to take good pictures.”
After graduation, Pimolle plans to go back to France and reapply for her visa so she can get married.
While she’s there, she plans to work as a translator while building her portfolio even more. Eventually, she plans to get her MFA in photography and teach.