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Samantha Fast Talks Favorite Art Pieces, Dream Museums and All Things UAHA

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

Samantha Fast is a Senior at Florida State University (FSU) majoring in Art History and Museum Studies. Outside of her classes she interns at the FSU Museum of Fine Arts, is the co-president of the Undergraduate Art History Association (UAHA). This week I got to sit down with her and talk about art, museum studies and all things UAHA!

Her Campus (HC): What’s your favorite thing about museum curation and exhibition design?

Samantha Fast (SF): I love how with both you get to decide the feeling that somebody has when they’re seeing these pieces of art. I think that there are many ways that you could be clever and intentional with it too, which I really like. Even just with the way that you’re placing lighting and the themes that you’re trying to express, I think it can be impactful and I enjoy that.

HC: Has your internship at the FSU Museum of Fine Arts prepared you for your future career goals?

SF: Yeah definitely! I’m learning so much in the internship and I can already see how it’s setting me up for a career in a museum space. While a museum to the visitor is the exhibitions and what you’re seeing, there’s so much on the other side that goes on like acquiring items, organizing collections and event planning. It’s helpful to see what goes on behind the scenes and to see what I could potentially be doing in different areas of museums in my career.

HC: So, what kind of work do you do on a typical day at the museum?

SF: It definitely changes day to day and I’m definitely going to be learning so much more as the semester goes on. Right now, I usually start the day with tours for visitors, and we also put together a lot of social media content for the exhibitions and certain artists that we want to highlight. I’ve had the opportunity to get to do some research on different artists and help write some of those excerpts. I’ve even gotten to start helping with event planning, so getting to plan an event from the ground up, collaborate with different organizations on campus and promote exhibitions.

HC: What made you want to run for co-president of the UAHA?

SF: I was on the executive board for the UAHA last year as the social media coordinator and had some insight into what was going on behind the scenes. When the position became open, my co-president Tessa and I both had a lot of ideas about how we wanted to elevate the organization and so we both kind of stepped up to the plate. I’m so thankful that we’re doing it together because we’ve been able to do so much in the short time that we’ve had this position! We’ve been able to get 30 new members in the first three weeks of school to join, establish an entire setup for committees, and plan events that were not possible before. It’s been amazing and I’m so glad that I took the chance to step forward for that position.

HC: Do you have a favorite memory associated with the UAHA?

SF: I would say probably our first general body meeting of this school year, just because the organization really took a hit with the pandemic because nothing was being held on campus or in person. Last school year we had a really hard time getting people involved and keeping it going and so we were really worried about the state of the organization in general. This year at our first general body meeting we had a phenomenal turnout and it was successful, so it was shocking in the best way possible! Even afterward Tessa and I were absolutely stunned because people were staying afterward to get to know each other, which is the point of the organization in general. To see that happening so fruitfully after almost two years of that being nonexistent was just an amazing moment.

HC: If you could work at any museum in the world, which would you want to work at and why?

SF: I would probably say the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. because it’s one of my favorite museums in the world. It’s an art museum, and I love how they have all of these famous and historical pieces, but they also make an effort to keep up with what’s going on in our current climate. For example, something I loved is an exhibition they had earlier this summer about the visual cultures of the Americas which is a whole scope of art that had never really been acknowledged before. I appreciate and admire that as such a prestigious institution they are highlighting that, because not all organizations of their scope are.

HC: Do you have a favorite work of art?

SF: There’s a piece in the National Gallery that isn’t super famous or renowned or anything but I’ve always really loved it, it’s a sculpture on the bottom floor of the gallery called The Reading Girl. She’s just so cool! She’s a young girl sitting on a chair with a book, and she has an almost classical or antique style drape on her that makes her look so elegant and calm. Something about her has always stuck out to me, and I really love her.

HC: What is your favorite style of art?

SF: I really love the art nouveau period! I just think it’s so unique, whimsical and feminine. My favorite artist is Alphonse Mucha and he did a lot of advertisements and more commercial art in this style which I think is so cool because it’s just so different from a painting on a wall.

HC: Have you always had an interest in art?

SF: I would say yes! I’ve always been very creative, even from a very young age. I’ve always made art and originally, I thought that’s what I wanted to do until I started taking art history classes in college. They helped me learn about different types of art, how broad it is, and what it is. I just really liked learning about it, and wanted to pursue it.

Fast plans on pursuing museum curation and exhibition design as a career, and the opportunities available here at FSU helped her grow those passions.

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Hannah Grinbank is a sophomore at FSU double majoring in English (Editing, Writing, and Media) and Communications with a minor in Psychology. She is absolutely thrilled to be HCFSU's Head Campus Editor! When she's not editing, you can find her reading, going on a hot girl walk, or listening to David Bowie albums on repeat. She hopes to one day own a cat named after legendary music icon Cher. :)