Art is her passion, but Eva Berlin’s actions go beyond the museum walls—everything from “making waves about an important issue” to her deep desire to help people. She says UGA provides her with the opportunities needed to make an impact in the future.
North Springs Charter High School
B.A. in art history, B.A. in romance languages
University highlights, achievements and awards:
As a freshman at UGA, I ran for secretary of the Georgia Museum of Art Student Association. I was eager to get involved with the arts on campus and this seemed like the perfect way. I went on to become vice president my sophomore year and am currently president. So many people at UGA have no idea that we have a museum on campus, that it’s free and that it’s actually worth going to. In order to change that, our association plans free student night events. Our events have been hugely successful with more than 500 in attendance at “Keepin’ it Surreal” and more than 2,000 people in attendance at “Re-opening Remixed”—a record for the museum. Working with the wonderful people at the museum has been such a valuable experience for me from the start.
In the summer of 2011, I pushed myself to my limits with two internships and a job as a waitress. It was certainly a tiring summer but extremely valuable. As an intern at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, I worked on advancing its social media presence. I created its first blog and wrote biweekly posts with reviews, artist interviews and recaps from events. I also served as a docent in addition to giving informal tours to individuals and groups. My main goal as an intern at Whitespace Gallery was to archive in the press book and organize inventory. It was often my responsibility to be the face of the gallery by interacting with visitors, providing price lists and information on the artists we showcase, and working the gallery during opening nights and other events.
Last year I was a senator for Fine Arts Student Organizations in SGA and a member of the SGA Sustainability Committee. I helped pass resolutions pushing UGA’s campus to move beyond coal, to install solar panels on the new College of Environment and Design and a few other great projects. My primary focus in SGA, though, was working with other senators to gain rights for undocumented students here in Georgia. That fight is not over and I will continue to support the right to education for all.
Currently, I am beginning work with the UGA Arts Council. They are hard at work planning and promoting Spotlight on the Arts, which will be a week in November full of fantastic arts events on campus. I hope to help them with their mission of facilitating more cross-disciplinary communication at UGA. Creative events are going on all over campus and we want to pull these different groups together in order to increase the visibility of the arts on campus.
I am currently beginning work for a local collector helping to manage a private art collection. This will include photographing artworks, archiving and doing research about certain artworks and artists. Soon I hope to be doing studio visits and conducting video interviews with artists in the community, which I am very excited about!
Family Ties to UGA:
My brother graduated from Terry College in 2010 and two of my grandparents are UGA alumni, as well!
I chose to attend UGA because...
... UGA meant a dynamic campus, a diverse student body and an institution large enough to offer me infinitely growing opportunities.
My favorite things to do on campus are...
... going to choral performances and other concerts at UGA’s Hugh Hodgson Concert Hall. Doing things on campus that impact our school is probably what I find most exciting, though. A positive impact could mean anything from making waves on campus about an important issue or showing people a good time at the Georgia Museum of Art.
When I have free time, I like...
... scouring the internet for new art and compiling the works into a massive collection on my computer. It is so addictive since I am essentially curating folder after folder of exactly and only what I love. I am also crazy about eating foreign foods, spending time with my family, cooking, practicing languages, making linguistic connections, doing yoga, looking at old pictures and meeting new people. Finally, there isn’t anything that beats spending time being utterly myself with friends.
The craziest thing I've done is...
... spend about three hours getting to and from my internship in Buenos Aires in one of the most dangerous areas of the city. This round-trip odyssey, as I can confidently call it, required a total of four to six buses and an alert demeanor. Although I was nervous at first, it quickly became something I enjoyed. Observing the people and the architecture and watching as they changed from zone to zone was not just entertaining but also a valuable cultural learning experience.
My favorite place to study is...
... at a table. It could be a table at home, a table at Walker’s or anywhere. Either way, I am a firm believer in the table as the perfect resource. I understand that I am making plenty of bed-studying enemies right now, but I cannot deny that a table’s level surface is innately superior to any surface one could possibly find on a bed. Yes, that was a dare.
My favorite professor is...
... Dr. Isabelle Wallace—I have never enjoyed a class as much as I enjoyed her millennial art and culture course. That class changed the way that I will view just about everything and opened my eyes to all sorts of new and provocative perspectives. Because of this, I will glean enjoyment from all kinds of new things for the rest of my life. That is the way I believe a class should be. For example, a good art history class does not just teach minutia about specific artworks. Instead, it teaches a whole method of viewing and analyzing so that you may apply those skills to any work of art you may encounter in the future. I am absolutely impatiently waiting for another Wallace course.
If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with...
... my grandfather, Papa B. He passed away last year and I would love to have one last chance to take all the wisdom I can from his incredible spirit and life. He worked in the foreign service for most of his life and did not leave a single country without making a positive impact on every person he met there. I cannot count the stories of family members encountering people here or abroad who hear the name Cal Berlin and immediately burst with adoring praises. His generosity, wit, intelligence and overall warm, beneficent spirit seem unrivaled. He started from the humblest beginnings but his motivation and personality built him an incredible life of his own. I would spend the afternoon recording his accomplishments—both those that were visibly big and those that paraded modestly and fallaciously as small.
If I knew I could not fail, I would...
... expose my fellow students to the incredible act of meditation and its ability to reduce their stress, increase their compassion and deepen their happiness infinitely. Or, take a math course.
If money was not a consideration, I would love to...
... donate money to small nonprofits with big dreams. Second, I would pay someone to make me juice out of fresh vegetables and fruits every single day. Not cleaning a juicer is definitely a dream. Then, I would take all of my friends and family on international adventures.
After graduation, I plan to...
... figure out what I am doing after graduation. My plans may include grad school for art history or nonprofit management and hopefully a year living and working abroad to cement some language skills. Throughout all of this, I hope to find a way to combine my infatuation with creative expression and my passion for helping people.
The one UGA experience I will always remember will be...
... is the afternoon I spent with SGA Senator Logan Krusac, Juan Cardoza-Oquendo and several incredible members of the Athens community. We met up to talk and prepare for an important Senate session that week. Logan and I were discussing how we would defend our resolution supporting the right to education for all students, including those who find themselves undocumented. We were all different ages and came from different backgrounds yet had a shared goal: helping undocumented students gain permission to apply to the great universities of Georgia. We were sharing some of the best Mexican food in Athens, communicating in Spanish and learning about the issue at hand. I yearn for moments like that one in which I can be confident in knowing that what I am doing will have an impact.