Lucas Varnum Portrait

Lucas Varnum says it’s simple: do what you love.

That’s the advice he has for future Spartans who might be hesitant to pursue a degree in the visual and performing arts: “Don’t be scared. Don’t let money determine your major. If you love art, do art.”

Growing up in Raleigh, Varnum was always interested in the visual arts. For him, it began with drawing then developed into a preference for ceramics and sculpture. When it came time for college, factors like friends’ recommendations and wanting to stay in-state played a factor, but it was an excellent art program that really mattered:

“UNC Greensboro easily has one of the better sculpture departments out there. All of my professors have been amazing and critical to my decision to continue with sculpture and ceramics as my major concentration.”

Varnum feels the mentoring he has received in the School of Art has been invaluable:

“I think all of my professors were amazing. Nikki Blair has become my biggest mentor and is the reason I ended up deciding to focus mostly in ceramics. She’s someone whom I greatly respect, and I admire the work she’s done. She always helps me improve. Dane Winkler is another professor whom I respect but also see as a friend. Pat Wasserboehr also had a great impact on my work—she helped me during my capstone to decide the concentration that I will use for my portfolio for graduate school.”

Varnum plans to pursue his MFA in Art and eventually would like to follow in the footsteps of his professors:

“I want to continue to be a practicing artist and also to have the opportunity to help others achieve their artistic goals. I think the most important thing I’ve learned is how important it is to always be around art and other artists so that you constantly learn from one another and improve your own practice.”


Story by Terri W. Relos

Photo provided by Lucas N Varnum