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Art Major Fiona Barney on Perspective, Teaching and Travel

Barney — a native of Provo, Utah — will graduate with a BA in art in April

During her experiences studying at BYU, senior art student Fiona Barney has had several opportunities to step out of her comfort zone. From traveling to Scotland to teaching high schoolers, Barney’s education has truly followed the BYU motto “The world is our campus.” Currently, Barney’s campus experience has expanded to include American Fork High School, where she works teaching art to the students. “Because I’ve been teaching students during the pandemic, I have to teach both online and in-person,” said Barney. “It’s been a wonderful and challenging experience.” While teaching at the high school, Barney had the opportunity to see some of her students’ work shared at a show in Springville. “I’ve had students open up to me about how the assignments I gave them really helped them think deeper about the world,” she said. “Teaching can be hard, but it’s also rewarding.” Barney believes her experience in the art program at BYU has been enhanced by the professors and the opportunities provided. “In the art education program, the professors go out of their way to create unique ways for students to learn,” said Barney. “For example, I went to Scotland a year and a half ago for a study abroad, and while there we learned how to weave.” Scotland is not the only country Barney has traveled to while at BYU. Barney’s world travels were expanded when a grant allowed her and several peers to take an educational trip to South Korea. “For a week we traveled in South Korea. While there, we made a video piece that ended up being shown in a Salt Lake Art Gallery,” said Barney. “It was great to learn how to work with other people. Korea is such a different place than Provo, so it was interesting to discover another culture.” Barney’s artistic endeavors not only help her see the world but also help her see the world from a new perspective. “Art hasn’t just changed my life — art is my life. I don’t think of it as something I do, but as the way I view the world,” she said. “Art has made me more understanding of other people. It has helped me understand the world better and differently, to look through different lenses and ask different questions.” While Barney doesn’t know exactly where she will be once she graduates, she hopes to continue making and teaching art, wherever in the world that may be.