Growing Up on Campus: Sequoia Medley '01

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Sequoia Medley ’01, daughter of theater teacher Robert Medley and business office staffer Mary Medley, is also a lifer. She works in an art gallery in Philadelphia.

For the first five-odd years of my life, I lived with my family in the caretakers’ residence and loved it. I had access to playgrounds all year long, and my friends could come over to my house before school. My parents were always nearby if I wanted to visit and say hi. Because they were so immersed in the school they were able to relate to my challenges and understand the true goal of the Catlin Gabel environment.

When I entered the real world I was amazed how much more prepared I was for anything, beyond the academic challenges of higher learning. When I first moved to Philadelphia, a city I had previously only visited for a few hours, I took it upon myself to explore the city and seek out volunteer opportunities. When disputes erupted in college over unfair grading practices, I felt empowered to join my fellow students in presenting a logical and persuasive argument to the administration.

My CGS education, especially in writing and the arts, prepared me well for Moore College of Art and Design, where I pursued a double major in art and fashion design. My multitasking and time management skills from Catlin Gabel came into play when I wrote a senior thesis in art history in less than three months while constructing a fashion collection. Because of Catlin Gabel’s interests in developing well rounded, intelligent members of the community, and because I was exposed to that philosophy my whole life, I chose an unorthodox educational path and feel I was successful.

I expected that art history and fashion would go hand in hand, but after graduation realized it no longer felt like the correct path for me. Two years ago, I began an internship at a contemporary art gallery, where I was quickly promoted to associate director. Although I continue to design costumes for fringe theater productions, I am looking into graduate school in contemporary art, art criticism, or arts administration. I am passionate about the vitality of the contemporary art scene and strive to make it more visible. I continue to draw, paint, design, and sew. I hope next to work for a private or corporate collection, preferably back in the Northwest, and in the long-term would like to have my own art gallery.