Jim Draper is the curator of galleries for UNF and an instructor in the Department of Art and Design. Draper's teaching includes courses such as Drawing Studio and Curatorial Practices, as well as various other drawing and painting classes. In his research, Draper is attempting to address the relationship of human beings to their environment, focusing primarily on our attitudes regarding nature as observed in language and images found in historic documents and contemporary news.
Get to Know Jim Draper
Do you have a favorite spot on campus?
Of course the Preserve. The preserved lands of UNF make our University unique. Thanks to those who have worked so hard to keep the natural lands from being developed. My next favorite, of course, is the bamboo garden.
If you weren’t teaching, what else would you be doing and why?
First, and foremost, I consider myself a working artist. I love teaching and consider it a part of my practice. In the practicing art world, those who do — always teach. If you are not teaching, sharing concepts and skills with those who are hungry to learn, you are not an artist. If there were no formal system or structure such as UNF, I would continue doing what I do, just without a regular paycheck.
What do you like most about UNF?
Collegiality — it is the friendliest place imaginable. The support and friendship of colleagues at all levels makes work a joy.
Who has been the biggest role model in your life?
My drawing and painting teacher from the early ‘70s at the University of Mississippi is a man named Jere Allen. Forty-five years later, I return to his studio in Oxford, Mississippi, as often as possible asking his advice and learning more about painting and art making. I want to be that.
What advice would you give a student who is about to graduate?
For art students, go ahead and call yourself what you are. There is no need to wait. Say that you are an artist, a writer, a designer, a curator, whatever, and that you are seeking fundraising opportunities. Your career is now.