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Department of Art

Community & Creative Collection: Grad Gabriella Warnick Reflects on Her Time in the Department of Art

Graduating Senior Gabriella Warnick Answers Questions about Her Time at BYU

Photo by Emma Olson, CFAC External Relations

Q: How have you found belonging at BYU?: 

Warnick: I found friends and a sense of community with my professors. I found a safe place to explore art in a faithful way. I was able to interrogate what I believed and I found what resonated. That was a really important part of my undergraduate experience at BYU and it was really important that it was through art.

In all my technical skill classes, I learned how observation and uncertainty work alongside with intent rather than being polar opposite. As I made mistakes, it allowed me to build and improve upon my work.

Q: How has your BYU education prepared you for the future? 

Warnick: BYU gave me a lot of chances to work in the real world. There were a lot of times at BYU that I didn’t feel stuck in a classroom.

Q: How did your experience at BYU impact your internship and vice versa? 

Warnick: BYU facilitated my internship in Rome, Italy. I would not have considered it otherwise.

As far as taking it back to campus, that experience pretty much influenced everything I did after. I did an undergraduate thesis that was influenced heavily by things I saw, learned and did there.

Professionally, it gave me confidence. It was one of the harder things I’d done in my life. I learned to be forgiving and more flexible about circumstances. It was really enlightening.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

Warnick: I am looking at working in audio, which is tangentially related to a lot of my art. I want to be an artist so I will apply to shows and residencies and eventually grad school.

Q: Is there a particular professor who inspired you the most?

Warnick: I think I will remember Professor Haraguchi a lot because learning Italian was particularly hard for me. My art professors were all really helpful. The people on my thesis committee were awesome: Daniel Everett, Collin Bradford, Brian Christensen. There’s too many to name, honestly.

Q: What advice would you give to current students?

Warnick: I feel some regret that I didn’t allow myself to more fully embrace experiences because I was nervous about something. Don’t let fear of failure hold you back. Also, you can find a community in strange and unusual places. Have an open mind.

I spent a lot of time jumping between departments. I have minors in Italian and theater. I spent a lot of time in theater. Some of my dearest friends that I made in college have been through those experiences I had in the performing arts.

Q: What was your most inspiring experience at BYU?

Warnick: It’s hard for me to pick a single one. My thesis was interesting to pull together. It tied together a lot of my interests, and I felt really excited about being able to do that.

I have several experiences where I went off campus through BYU. I went to Rome and New York through the Department of Art, and I traveled with Young Ambassadors to Scotland and China. There was something about having the BYU community off-campus. You see people differently. You experience things differently. It’s nice to be in those foreign places and still have your roots with you.

Q: Why is art important to you?

Warnick: It's a medium of thought to me. It helps me flesh out ideas I want to express and ideas or questions I want to investigate if not completely answer. I think art is important at helping me navigate the gray area, and that is a space I love to be in. The art I love is good at forging connections that aren’t based on clear, obvious verbal communication.

I also love that art allows me to put on many different hats. As a kid, I was the worst at answering “What do you want to be when you grow up? I just had a different answer every day. I feel like art allows me to dip my toes into more fields than if I just decided to do acoustical physics or history. I can research these things in tandem with being an artist.