Meredith Buie sees visitors with all types of artistic interests at the Institute for the Advancement of the Arts gallery. Away from the job, she's an animal shelter volunteer and enjoys time with her husband and daughter.
What is your official title, and how long have you been at UNT?
I am the administrative coordinator for the Institute for the Advancement of the Arts and UNT on the Square, below. I have been here two years.
What is your academic and professional background?
I earned my BFA in Photography from UNT in 2006 and am currently enrolled in the library and information sciences master’s program. I would love to have a career in visual art archiving or dealing with rare book collections. Previously I worked at a local IT company, was a barista for several years, worked as a substitute teacher at a local Montessori school and was also an educational counselor at a children’s rehabilitation center. I love working with people and have always been drawn to jobs where I'm able to do so.
Who visits UNT on the Square?
Our patrons range from UNT students, faculty, staff and alumni to Denton residents and tourists. We have several repeat visitors, but every day I meet someone who has never been here before. People love that there is an easily accessible venue to see what is going on at UNT. The arts in general there are so rich and diverse, we have events here that literally anyone can enjoy. Our Thursday Night Music series is particularly successful because each ensemble that performs here from the College of Music speaks to several people. Especially now that the downtown area is growing and thriving, there’s always something new going on and something for everyone.
Observations about art, why you work in the art world?
It’s interesting working at an art gallery in the heart of a community. I see people react differently. One person will walk in and spend an hour and the next person will spend 10 minutes. If those people come in a month later, their responses could be total opposite. It’s great having an art gallery where people can stumble into, rather than seeking it out as a destination. It’s often a surprise visit for people and is pretty wonderful to witness. I’ve always been interested in the arts and would volunteer to be involved in any way I could since I can remember. I always excelled at it throughout school and seemed like the natural thing to pursue once I got to college.
Do you have a favorite artist or genre?
I’m partial to photography and spent several years hiding away in the darkroom while working on my degree. It involves art, people, science and history and is just so interesting to me. I’m fascinated by the first photographers and inventors and have an utmost respect for those who still use film and the darkroom. It is a dying craft and an extremely difficult one to master.
My favorite genres of the medium are probably street photographers and those who use large format cameras. I have a huge collection of found vintage snapshots that I could get lost with for hours. I'm also really drawn to printmaking, specifically etching. I love the process and I love the outcome.
Away from the classroom, what are your interests?
I love animals and am a Denton Animal Shelter volunteer and have been for three years now. I have an amazing husband (who was my classmate in sculpture at UNT) and we have a hilarious and amazingly sweet 3-year-old daughter. We spend a lot of time with our friends, go camping, go on road trips, and just generally have fun together when we're not working or studying.
Do you have a favorite book, movie, restaurant?
I love Indian food and could eat at Kokila or breakfast at Old West every day. As for movies, I really love Woody Allen, Wes Anderson, Mad Men and a few other TV shows that are too embarrassing to admit.
(It's not possible to know everyone on a big, busy campus. So InHouse periodically publishes Portrait Gallery features to help us learn about our colleagues and their contributions to the university's success. Send suggestions for Portrait Gallery subjects by email to InHouse with "Portrait Gallery" in the subject line.)
Posted on: Tue 22 January 2013