Posted by: Michele Cohen
Written by Mellany Armstrong
An explosion of hot pink, orange and stuffed animals pops out at you the moment you open the residence hall room door of Moore sophomores Ashley Herman ’18, Illustration and Shannon De Acetis ’18, Fashion Design.
The whole room appears to be an inspiration board reflecting the roommates’ areas of study — from pink, purple and gold brocade curtains, dress forms at the foot of the bed, bright pop-art pieces and colorful illustrations on the walls.
“It’s ridiculous,” Shannon said, when referring to the amount of collectibles that fill the room.
Just about every inch of space in their room in Stahl Hall is artfully organized and perfectly arranged with photos, posters and Disney characters.
“We both like fashion and we both like illustration,” Ashley said. “We collected postcards from every museum we visited during our study abroad trip to Rome over the winter.”
Shannon calls the collage of postcards above her bed her own personal “Sistine Chapel.” She also collects Fashion Barbies and fashion-related items from Paris, Eiffel Tower iconography and textile prints. “The room is like my personality – it describes me,” she said.
Lighting also plays a role in the ambience of the room. Strands of pink and orange paper lanterns span the perimeter of the ceiling and more lanterns hang from the center of the room. They illuminate small posters of Marilyn Monroe, Disney characters still encased in their boxes and lots and LOTS of Hello Kitty and other plush toys.
The women save room for pictures of their boyfriends on a bottom shelf. They also like to collect and name small bamboo plants (“Lewis” and “Clarke”) that they keep on their desks. Cactuses on shelves bear the names of famous rulers and dictators.
Their home-away-from-home has become popular on campus.
“One person will come and see it and say, ‘Oh my gosh,’ and then 20 minutes later they bring friends back and say, ‘Look at this room, you have to see this room,’” Shannon said. “Admissions calls it the ‘Pink Palace.’”
Both Shannon and Ashley, who refer to each other as “best friends,” said their bedrooms at home were always filled with treasures and they wanted to incorporate that aesthetic into their living space at Moore.
“Growing up, my room was always fun, and I wanted to feel that way here because I don’t go home that often,” Shannon said.
“It makes being at school a little easier,” Ashley agreed. “We both have a lot of stuffed animals, pictures and tchotchkes, so when we got together it exploded, it amplified it by a thousand!”
Shannon and Ashley met during freshman year orientation and discovered their mutual love of all things Hello Kitty. They became roommates this year. Shannon, who hails from Stroudsburg, PA, heard about Moore after receiving a pamphlet in the mail. She came to an Open House and said she knew within minutes that this is where she wanted to be. She also received a Visionary Woman’s scholarship.
Ashley, who comes from Jackson, N.J., fell in love with Moore during a tour over spring break, but was also influenced by her high school art teacher, who told her, “You’re a Moore girl.”
Shannon and Ashley do a lot together beyond sharing a space. They both work in the Admissions office as Student Ambassadors. They recently applied together for a competitive Leadership Fellowship to help students from Stroudsburg who might not have the opportunity to attend a school like Moore.
“We want to do a portfolio builder workshop for high school students who are applying to visual arts colleges,” Ashley said. “Budget cuts are affecting the resources and the potential of students. We were inspired by Moore’s portfolio builder workshop.”
Both women are the ‘babies’ in their families and the only daughters. They consider themselves sisters and are so close they often finish each other’s sentences. They are also recognizable on campus by the bright blue, pink and purple streaks in their hair, as well as the creative outfits they wear.
The two plan on sharing a room together in Stahl Hall until they graduate and will undoubtedly continue to make the space their own.
“When my mom and dad come to visit, my dad always asks, ‘How are we moving you out?’” Shannon said. “The stuff will start going home in April.”