MA Grad Student
Graduated from U of Tennessee
What do you want to do with your MA?
My MA is in Art History and I am really interested in museum curating. I would really love to curate a gallery or a small museum focusing on Chinese art since that is my main area of research.
What got you interested in wanting to focus mostly on Chinese art?
I was taking Mandarin Chinese language classes for my undergraduate requirements and then started taking Chinese culture classes through the religious studies department which is what my BA was in. I really liked learning about the culture and just went from there! It’s all so interesting.
Have you done any internships related to your MA?
I did an internship during my undergrad that wasn’t directly connected to the museum. I worked with my professor on her project where we were preserving old photograph and some video footage from a rural area of China. It was some rare footage that wasn’t accessible to anyone but she had it because it had been passed down to her. We were indexing it, digitizing it and making it available for students.
Do you feel like your style is influenced by your love for art?
I think so! I just try to find things that are different, kind of fun, and communicate my
personality. Being in an art-related field, people look at what you wear and what you look like. With being an artist myself I feel like I’m creative so I want my clothes to communicate that. I really like this dress because it looks like it was painted, which I thought was really cool.
Where do you find most of your clothes?
Honestly, I don’t spend a lot of money on clothes. I get a lot of things at thrift stores! If you go to really mainstream stores then you are going to be getting stuff that everyone else is wearing. Which is fine, but I like to have stuff that is unique. This dress I think was about five dollars from this bargain store in my hometown of Tennessee. I think it’s good to have basic things that can go with a lot of outfits and then mix that with things that are more fun.
Are you from Tennessee?
Sort of. I was born in Phoenix and spent my childhood in Phoenix but then I spent college years in Tennessee so I call that my hometown because I spent a lot of time there. I really love my college town.
What are the coordinates on your necklace for?
It’s the coordinates for my college, so Knoxville, Tennessee. When I was leaving town I was really sad and my sister got this for me. I thought it was cute. She also made me a drawing with all of the states that I’ve lived in, she’s very creative.
What kind of art do you normally create?
I paint a lot. My style is very whimsical and fun. I do pet portraits so people will send me
pictures of their pets and I will paint their personalities. I also know a lot about plants and am really into them. I collect house plants like cactuses. Actually, a lot of my art is inspired by nature. I also do a lot of little prints, more carved stuff, and then have my own little bee design that is actually tattooed on my leg.
What’s the story of your tattoo?
When I was first getting back into art, it was one of the first things that I designed. I wanted an outline of an anatomical bee but I wanted the inside to be fun patterns with sketched flowers, stripes, and polka dots because I really like patterns. I thought it would be cool to draw a bee but in a creative way. It was my first one and I thought, “what’s something that I won’t regret?” and I feel like I will never regret having something that I made. I already have plans for more tattoos I want and artists I want to get them done by.
Do you have any other hobbies besides your artwork?
I’m really into outdoor things, like hiking, just like most people in Oregon are. I’m also really into cooking and baking. Also, going to museums since they are really important to me.
Words and photos by Alex Jacobsen