SPAC Profile: Michael Sullivan
Organizational Studies; Super Senior
Second nonconsecutive year on the council
What is your favorite work of art at UMMA?
I’m a huge fan of the Fusfeld Folk Art Collection. UMMA had many of these pieces on display as part of the ‘Out of the Ordinary’ exhibit in 2010 and 2011. You can still see some of the artwork on display in the study-storage gallery, but my favorite piece is down in the basement. Tyree Guyton’s Ups and Downs depicts a man and woman fiercely smiling through their tears. Their purple blues run up and down the piece of scrap wood that Guyton has made into a portrait of joy and pain and joypain. If you like this painting, it’s worth a trip to the Heidelberg Project in Detroit where the artist has co-created a neighborhood full of art installations in the city. Try to find this the next time you’re on your way to class in the auditorium or making a pit stop in the powder room.
If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
In thought experiments like this, it’s always tempting to opt for the deceased. When we get one wish from the genie, it’s human nature to get as much as we can in one go. But for my part, I’ll take…the genie himself. That’s right folks, Robin Williams. The man who improved his role in that Disney classic along with loads of his stand-up and this amazing scene from Good Will Hunting. Someone with insight who can make you laugh til you cry. I’ll cook, he’ll eat. Otherwise I’ll spew the food at him with my laughter.
Your favorite quote/words to live by?
“Fate is like a strange, unpopular restaurant filled with odd waiters who bring you things you never ask for and don’t always like.”
-Lemony Snicket, The Slippery Slope
What hobby do you do in your spare time?
Reading! Learning how to read was the best thing that ever happened to me. Fiction, nonfiction, cookbooks, pamphlets, no printed material is safe. Embarrassing internet confession: If provoked by a book, I will voice agreement, cry in outrage, pace lost in thought. Right now I’m rereading Don Quixote, hoping and praying that the ending will be different this time. Maybe?
What are two things you can’t live without?
- My family. I feel very blessed to have caring, supportive parents and a gaggle of hilarious siblings.
- Coffee. Every time I break the addiction I get sucked back in.