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Bryn Foreman, CLASS OF 2013

Bryn Foreman graduated from University in 2013 and went on to attend Earlham College and Indiana University Indianapolis (formally Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis), where they graduated with a BA in Art History and an MA in Museum Studies in 2023. Today, Bryn works as the Director of the Garfield Park Arts Center. To read more about the work that Bryn is doing at the Garden Park Arts Center, click here

What have you been up to since leaving UHS?

After leaving University, I went straight into Earlham College, where I played soccer and field hockey as a goalkeeper. I stayed there for three years before dropping out at the very beginning of my senior year to take care of my family and work. In my time off from school, I became deeply involved in the Democratic Socialists of America, becoming co-chair of the Indianapolis DSA and focusing on the Medicare for All campaign. I returned to school at IUPUI and founded a YDSA there with my now partner, Conor, before graduating with a BA in Art History. From there, I took two years off to work (and avoid COVID-19) before returning to IUPUI once again to receive my MA in Museum Studies, all while working as a bartender. After graduating in May of 2023, I was hired as the Director of the Garfield Park Arts Center in September, where I remain today.

How do you feel University best prepared you for college?

UHS prepared me best for college by laying the foundations to make me an incredibly strong researcher. Programs like J-Term, AP Art History, and AP Lit all gave me an immense amount of freedom in terms of self-guided learning, and it made me into a scholar with a lot of internal motivation and natural curiosity. J-Terms also made me into a relatively experienced traveler, with the capacity to go places prepared to learn, not just go on vacation. In short, the freedom that UHS gave me from an early age taught me a lot about responsibility and made me unafraid to do my own thing.

How are the core values you learned at University still being applied to your life now?

The core value that has impacted me the most is Commitment to Excellence. I chose this one for two reasons – one, it encompasses the other core values for me, especially diversity and creativity, and two, it’s the one that I find myself thinking about the most. In high school, I was incredibly chaotic. It wasn’t until I was already in grad school that I realized I’m actually a perfectionist and extremely Type A. If I’m not doing my absolute best at something, I usually don’t feel like it’s worth doing. This commitment (bordering on an obsession) to excellence is what has driven me to go above and beyond in both school and in my career. Personal responsibility has driven me as an activist, and mutual respect, support, and trust are probably what has helped shape me into a better friend, partner, and community member. Beyond “just” an education, UHS helped shape me into a person who’s deeply dedicated to making the world a better place than I found it.

Have you done an internship? If so, where was it, what did you do, and how do you think it is going to help you in the future?

I’ve had a handful of internships, but the one that helped me the most was my fellowship as the IUPUI Cultural Arts Gallery curator. For my last year in grad school at IUPUI, I was responsible for scheduling, installing, and de-installing exhibitions on the first floor of the Campus Center. The lessons there are things I use almost daily in my role at GPAC. Scheduling exhibitions, handling art, and marketing events are most of what I do.

What has been the most valuable experience you have had since leaving University?

The most valuable experience I’ve had since leaving UHS was traveling to Mexico City in August of 2022 to study the museums and galleries there. That experience was entirely self-motivated and probably the most intellectually rigorous thing I’ve ever done for myself. I re-learned Spanish and built an itinerary in the months leading up to the trip, and I took extensive notes on each museum and art gallery I went to while also leaving time to just explore. I don’t think I would have been as prepared for this adventure had it not been for my education at UHS.

What has been your best University memory? 

My best University memory was probably releasing baby sea turtles into the ocean during my J-Term in Mexico. I remember so vividly feeling overwhelmed by the beauty of nature and being aware of what a privilege it was to be there and to bear witness to the beginning of those small lives as they struggled across the beach to get to the sea. There was a grief to knowing that most of them wouldn’t make it, but also a religious type of awe to knowing that some of those turtles would likely outlive all of the humans standing on that beach. It was powerful and lovely and made me feel small in a way that I still find comforting.