Student Artist Spotlight: Sally Wyma shares inspiration

Uncovering the junior’s practice and inspirations


Photo courtesy of Sally Wyma

Sally Wyma, junior art and psychology double major, has been creating art for as long as she can remember. Captivated at a young age by family members who created and sold art, Wyma’s creativity runs in her blood. Wyma said that, growing up, she would take art classes at school whenever they were offered. In the following interview, Wyma describes her artistic practice with painting and photography, her inspirations and the importance of taking time to enjoy life.

What mediums are you working with and exploring the most right now in your practice?
Right now painting and photography. Separately, although it’s fun to do them together too. But yeah, right now those are the two. Painting with acrylic and oil. I’m sadly not currently enrolled in a photography class, except I had Adam Schreiber for one during the COVID pandemic. It was completely online, but honestly if there was any medium to be online, photography is the best.

What is your favorite work that you’ve created so far?
Uh oh, that’s a hard question. I mean, I did a piece last semester which was a painting of my sister. It was a picture I took when I was visiting her while she was in London. And she goes to school there, and she just is in her natural habitat. And it’s like she is just straight vibing — it’s just she’s so happy there, so I just casually took a picture of her walking down the street and then painted that last semester, and it was in oils. Maybe it’s my favorite because it’s one of my more recent paintings. But right now, I think that’s my favorite because it was really fun to do, because of the subject matter, but also how I did it was really fun. I was painting a layer and would scrape off parts of it and then paint over that and then scrape things off and then keep going. And it was just really fun.

Would you say that normally the scraping is part of your practice or was that something new that you experimented with?
It was an experiment, but lately that’s kind of what I’ve kept doing. Yeah, it’s really fun.

Who or what inspires your work the most?
Honestly, I think it’s probably just what I’m going through at the time. That sounds kind of cliché, but art really has a way for me to just keep my hands busy and my mind occupied on things that are, you know, not school and things that are super overwhelming. So, I think that that has a large part to do with it. I really love David Hockney. His work really inspired me for a long time. And yeah, I don’t know, just circumstances, you know?

I apologize for asking this, because whenever anyone asks me this, I get kind of annoyed, but what is your post grad plan, or if you don’t have one, what is your dream job?
What a question. The classic. So I’m thinking about, right now, doing some sort of master’s with cognitive neuroscience, which isn’t super involved with art or anything, which is a bummer, but also that’s kind of what I’ve been really enjoying with school, so I think it will be really fun to do that afterwards. But honestly, I have no idea. I think it would also be fun to take a gap year. I’ve been talking about this with people recently, like, you get so burned out with all of this school, and then people just forget that you’re allowed to live your life and take a break. And so I don’t know, maybe I would travel and apply to grad schools and stuff like that. Who’s to say?