The University of Georgia
Quinn, Sarah

UGA's Amazing Students

Sarah Quinn

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April 11, 2011

Sarah is receiving degrees in art and art history; together with her mother, Joanne (see Joanne Quinn’s amazing student profile), the Quinns prove UGA can be a family affair.

Expected graduation:

May 2011

Degree objective:

Bachelor’s degree in Art (painting), and Bachelor’s in Art History.

University highlights, achievements and awards:

My involvement with the Georgia Museum of Art shaped my entire college experience. I began volunteering with their monthly Family Days my sophomore year in college; these events give local families the opportunity to engage in an art project and tour the museum. Eventually, I started interning with GMOA’s education department, where I developed educational materials for the museum’s exhibitions, led tours of exhibitions for fifth graders and coordinated a film festival. At the end of my junior year, I received the Louis T. Griffith Student of the Year Award for my work with the museum. I was given the opportunity that summer to work for GMOA’s summer outreach program, Art Adventures. This art education program works with children in the Athens area, teaching them about a theme in art and assisting them with a related project.

Within the art school, I served as a co-president of the Art History Society. We created the art school’s first blog, ArtUGA, organized an art-centered career and graduate school panel, hosted a speaker from Sotheby’s, and organized museum trips for students— essentially, attempted to present students who have an interest in art with viable resources and opportunities in their desired field. I also was able to work with the art school’s student advisory committee as an AHS representative.

I have been able to explore my interest in art beyond the UGA campus as well. Last winter, I participated in a Franklin Residential College study abroad trip to Madrid, which allowed me to learn about Spanish and Modernist art under the supervision of Dr. Janice Simon. This developed into a Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities project under Simon concerning the Spanish surrealist painter, Oscar Dominguez. Presenting this at the 2010 CURO symposium was an incredible moment in my academic career that prompted me to continue research on Spanish art this past fall with Dr. Alisa Luxemburg.

This semester, I am studying at the UGA campus in Cortona, Italy, thanks to a merit-based scholarship. From this picturesque Tuscan town, I’ve maintained my job as an editorial cartoonist for the Red & Black, the student newspaper at UGA. In fact, I recently received the Society of Professional Journalist Region 3 Mark of Excellence First Place Award in Editorial Cartooning. I also was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society.

Family Ties to UGA:

Besides the obvious tie to my mom, my dad is the head of the Vet School’s infectious diseases department and my younger sister is a sophomore studying fashion merchandising. My older brother is a Georgia Tech graduate. Guess who gets snubbed at Christmas??

I chose to attend UGA because...

…I was interested in a lot of very different fields when applying to colleges. Not only was UGA a strong college across the board— giving me ample opportunities in various areas— but with the HOPE scholarship, it also provided me with the means to achieve whatever it was that I decided to do.

My favorite things to do on campus are...

…hang out in the art school! The environment there is one that truly inspires creativity. Spending time just looking at the student work and exhibitions, engaging in conversations with teachers and visiting artists, working until unimaginable hours of the night in the studio with fellow students— there’s nowhere else on campus quite like it. There’s probably nowhere else on campus where students sleep in their classrooms on a regular basis, either! I also spend a lot of time in my dad’s office. It’s the perfect place to go for a relaxing pause in an otherwise hectic schedule, and I really enjoy working on my cartoons in his office. He also has an unlimited supply of Diet Pepsi in a mini-fridge, so there’s an incentive to stop by even if he’s in a meeting elsewhere.

The craziest thing I've done is...

…organize a Salon des Refuses with my friends. Last year, we held an art show for everyone who did not get work accepted into the art school’s juried show and modeled it after an 1863 exhibition for rejected artwork in France. We created the entire idea from scratch and coordinated the PR, logistics and curatorial work completely on our own. There was an overwhelming response from the art students, and we were able to fill our entire house, floor to ceiling, with students’ artwork. This included everything from paintings and ceramics to a sound installation. Because we received such positive feedback, we hosted another one in the spring.

My favorite place to study is...

…Espresso Royale Cafe! If I’m not in the art school, this is where I can, without fail, be found.

My favorite professor is...

…in the field of art history, Dr. Alisa Luxenberg. I have taken several of her classes throughout my undergraduate career and, most recently, conducted CURO research with her. I am always humbled by her incredible intellect and teaching capabilities. She holds students up to the same standards she holds her own research, which definitely forced me to push past what I once considered being my limits. With her guidance, I have vastly improved my ability to think critically and write effectively. In painting, Chris Hocking has most influenced the way I approach a canvas. His classes never fail to challenge me, and his knowledge of everything ranging from contemporary art to pop culture adds a great dynamic to the studio. Never before had a teacher told me to watch Hustle and Flow to illustrate an example of regionalist aesthetic. This way of teaching, however, really increased my awareness of the life around me and how it can be channeled into art.

If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with...

…Jon Stewart. Beyond his comedic brilliance, I think that Stewart has one of the most level-headed approaches to politics and current events. It would be fascinating to pick his brain about the state of the world— I also think one afternoon would be long enough to convince him to marry me.

If I knew I could not fail, I would...

…write a memoir about my time in the art school. It is such a wonderful, strange place that has significantly shaped the way that I think and consider the world. Lamar Dodd has introduced me to some of my best friends, some of the smartest professors— and, of course, as is inevitable when creative minds get together— some of the most beautifully bizarre sights and stories. Ingrained in my mind is an image of a student jumping out of a life-sized camel made entirely of cigarette filters. I cannot wait to share these stories with the world.

After graduation, I plan to...

…serve as a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco. I just found out that I have been invited to work in their Youth Development program, and I am so excited to fulfill this lifelong dream. Afterwards, I plan to attend graduate school.

The one UGA experience I will always remember will be...

…my painting exit show in November. It was really incredible to be able to devote an entire semester to one body of work and be involved in every aspect of putting together a show. I was also able to graduate with people who I had studio classes with throughout my entire time in art school, so it was especially great to close out our time together on such a high note.