September 2002: Vol. 81, No. 4


Turning found objects into art

Scrap metal fuels creative energy for Doug Makemson (BSA '92)

by Nathan Long

When a son grows up hearing stories about his father working his way through college as a circus performer who dived from a 60-foot tower into a flaming 6-foot-deep pool, there's pressure on the son, says Doug Makemson, to choose an interesting means of making a living.


Working in the medium of "found object art," Makemson uses salvaged pieces such as rusty truck transmission gears to concoct new creations.
Makemson (BSA '92) chose sculpture, fashioning his works not from stone or clay, but from scrap metal: car parts, pipes from buildings, lawn mower blades, and pieces of industrial machines. Though Makemson calls his work "found object art," it's a little unusual for the category, in which many works are just salvaged objects, not new creations.

"With Doug, it's a little different because he finds machine parts and uses them the way a painter uses different colors," says Greg Benson (ABJ '85, MFA '92), chief preparator at the Georgia Museum of Art, who has overseen the installation of two of Makemson's exhibits. Since most of the sculptures are animals or insects, Makemson requested that his latest show, "Metal Menagerie," which ran from March 30 through July, be placed off museum grounds (see photo below). Instead of on walls and carpet, visitors encountered the works around the Ecology Building and the Warnell School of Forest Resources—gazing through the trees, peeking through grass, and, in the case of two large turtles, sunning themselves by a pond.

The rusty truck transmission gears in the 12-foot serpentine sculpture "King of the Road" are typical of the parts that appeal to Makemson, who rummages through body shops and junk yards for the raw materials he needs. "You try to take inorganic things and make something that has some life to it, so there's some kind of magic that happens there," he says. "The more beat up, the more it's been through, the better for me. Straight steel is that much more lifeless."

Makemson's subject matter also has roots in his childhood, when his conservation-minded parents gave him lots of exposure to nature. That included plenty of pets: snakes caught at a lake, hermit crabs from the beach, mice, flying squirrels born in the family's bluebird houses—even a monkey. Though he made some creative efforts before spending 10th grade in a California boarding school, it was there that welding classes and a one-day workshop by a Los Angeles artist began preparing him to later make his own animals.

After entering UGA in 1972, Makemson eventually settled on a major in horticulture. He was in school through 1979; the last three years he took one quarter per year of Spanish and ceramics, spent the winter in Mexico, and farmed through the summer. He continued farming through most of the 1980s, and it was 1992 when he finally returned and finished his degree.

Analyzing his own work, which began to focus on larger pieces in 1999, he says: "I guess I've gotten more comfortable with the idea that there's more junk out there, that whatever it is inside me that does this is not going to dry up. I'm not going to run out of ideas."

Market makeover

Gina Coleman Drosos (BBA '85) has put the olé back in Olay

by Betsy Harter

It takes more than a dollop of marketing savvy to turn a simple pink beauty fluid into an array of beauty products that 77 million women use each year. In the last two years, Procter & Gamble general manager Gina Coleman Drosos (BBA '85) has completely revamped the Olay brand, launched Olay's "love the skin you're in" ad campaign and helped the company lay claim to being "the inventor of the cleansing cloth."


pping the "Oil of" prefix helped quadruple Olay sales since 1996.
Drosos has always been a high achiever, beginning at UGA, where she was inducted into both Mortar Board and Palladia. Since she got her hands on P&G's Olay brand in 1993, it has gone from $200 million in worldwide annual sales to being one of the company's billion-dollar brands. Today, it is the No. 1 facial moisturizer brand in the world, used by 13 percent of the world's population in 55 countries spanning the globe. And as P&G's global franchise leader for the Olay brand, Drosos has extended the Olay product line to include top-performing facial moisturizers, beauty bar soaps, body washes, and facial cleansers.

The "love the skin you're in" campaign could also be Drosos' personal theme. From the time she was a little girl, the Atlanta native knew she wanted to try her hand at business, and every step in her career path has contributed in some way toward enabling her childhood ambition, which she actualized when she enrolled in UGA's Terry College of Business school in 1981.

Between her two years in the MBA program at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business, she signed on for a summer internship at P&G, which landed her a job in the company's household products division, working on the Spic 'n Span account. A year later, she moved into beauty products, starting with Camay in 1988.

Today, Drosos is responsible for all skin care and cleansing brands, including Olay and Noxzema, one of the biggest facial cleansing brands in North America. She sets the global strategic direction for the division and shepherds the development of new skin care products from concept to production.

The Olay business has quadrupled worldwide since Drosos came on board in 1996—due, in no small part, to Olay's updated image, which young women had grown to think of as the brand their grandmother used. Just last year, P&G took Drosos' advice and quietly dropped "Oil" from the "Oil of Olay" product name after 37 years on store shelves.

Although Drosos has established her rising star in Procter & Gamble's home base of Cincinnati—where she and her husband, Perry, live with their two children, Will (age 5) and Claire (3)—she hasn't forgotten her Georgia roots. She still has family living in Atlanta, and occasionally fits in a visit to campus.

"I always felt encouraged at UGA to get an excellent academic education and also participate in leadership activities," she says. "I learned to work effectively with other people and to listen to many different ideas. You can come up with better ideas when you work in a group, when everyone's thoughts are articulated and on the table. When you build on each other, you end up in a better place."


Betsy Harter is a freelance writer based in Watkinsville. A similar version of this story appeared in Terry magazine, which granted reprint rights.

Miss Georgia!

Amy Mulkey (BBA '01) wants to improve mentoring program she created

by Heather Summerville (ABJ '01)

Like most little girls, Amy Mulkey was glued to the TV during Miss America pageants. She pictured "There She Is, Miss America" being sung directly to her. But as she grew up, the goals Mulkey set for herself didn't include tiaras, roses, or being serenaded.

She graduated from UGA with a perfect 4.0 GPA in management information systems, and she achieved First Honor Graduate status while participating in a variety of extracurricular activities. As a Foundation Fellow, the University's highest scholarship level, Mulkey visited 17 countries on six continents. She also found time to create her own organization: C.L.I.M.B.: Mentoring Youth to Reach Their Goals, which trains mentors to be more effective in using goal-oriented techniques.


Mulkey was crowned by Miss Georgia 2001 Emily Foster (BBA '01).
At the urging of her mother, Mulkey (BBA '01) first entered the Miss Georgia pageant as an undergraduate. She did well, thanks in part to 10 years of classical piano training. Recently, on her third try, Mulkey was crowned Miss Georgia and awarded a $12,000 scholarship and a $2,000 academic grant that must go towards continuing her education or repaying school loans. The next step is Atlantic City and the big prize—Miss America.

"As I learned more about the pageant and the interview and community service aspect of it, I enjoyed it more and had fun," says Mulkey, who can now give C.L.I.M.B. more publicity than she ever dreamed possible. "Having a title gives me access to so many more people."

"Amy is a highly intelligent young lady. It has been 10 years since we have had a Miss Georgia who graduated with a 4.0, although they have all been close," says Mansfield Bias, executive director of the Miss Georgia board. "She also has a gift to speak in front of people, and a passion for mentoring."

The Atlanta-based business-consulting firm, McKinsey & Co., where Mulkey has been employed for the last year, has granted her a leave of absence for the rest of this year to fulfill her duties as Miss Georgia. Since being crowned, Mulkey has moved in with Bias in Columbus to focus on preparation for Miss America.

Team Mulkey, which includes Bias and 10 other members of the Miss Georgia board, will be helping Mulkey with paperwork, interview skills, wardrobe, personal appearances, and current events—though it's not clear who will be grilling whom on the headlines of the day. This is, afterall, a person who made USA Today's 2001 All-USA College Academic Team. She was UGA's Business Senior of the Year, she served as president of many of her college organizations (Phi Mu sorority, Panhellenic Council, Omicron Delta Kappa leadership council)—and she has climbed Kilimanjaro. How many other Miss America contestants can match that?

On Sept. 6, Mulkey will leave for a meet-and-greet weekend in Philadelphia with the other contestants. On Sept. 8, she will travel to nearby Atlantic City, where she will rehearse for a week before preliminary competitions begin. The final, televised competition will be held on Sept. 21.

"Amy is not the typical Southern girl," says Bias. "She does not have an accent, which will work to her advantage at Miss America—where the judges have preconceptions. I have no doubt the judges will remember her after the first round of interviews. I can't fathom that she won't be in the top five."


Heather Summerville (ABJ '01), is a former editorial assistant at Georgia Magazine.

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