Every week, we turn to a trusted tastemaker and get them Talking Taste in all its forms. From favorite meals to must-have music for eating, drinking, and making things happen, we want to know what makes creators and influencers tick—don’t you?
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This week, we’re excited to talk taste with an important arbiter of taste for the next generation, Paula Wallace, the Founder and President of Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). In her late twenties (really!) Paula Wallace founded the dynamic institution that is SCAD after seeing so many artists and creative friends struggle with monetizing their talents. She founded SCAD with the mission to get these artists jobs. At SCAD, there are more degree programs than any other art and design school in the world and post-graduation job placement rate is 98%; mission accomplished! SCAD students and graduates have their hands in everything from projects with NASA to the Super Bowl to Pixar and the upper echelons of the fashion industry. So, it’s safe to say that Paula Wallace knows quite a bit about taste; after all, she’s molding the minds and honing the talents of the people that curate our culture.
Name: Paula Wallace
Age: A lady never reveals her age.
What you’d do if you weren’t doing your day job: The beauty of founding a university is that I live limitless careers every day — interior designer, architect, historic preservationist, curriculum designer, writer, art director, career counselor, and beyond!
One food or drink you couldn’t live without: Hot Russian tea — or iced — a favorite of my surrogate grandmother, Rinnie. Fragrant orange, cinnamon and clove infused with Constant Comment add spice to any day.
What do you have great taste in? Dilapidated buildings. Historic structures tug at my heartstrings! I’ve never met an old building I didn’t like. My life as a preservationist brings me great delight.
What do you have bad taste in? Driving directions. Much to my family’s chagrin, I often choose the path less traveled, which means that our travel time is extended.
Who, to you, is an influential tastemaker, and why? Pioneers! I’ve nurtured generations of young minds and each year I am humbled to witness the arrival of new trailblazers. Students who see opportunities instead of obstacles, who charge into uncharted waters and visualize a path, and who make the impossible possible. These thinkers and dreamers will shape our future.
How do you expand and refine your sense of Taste? I try to travel at least once a month, even if it’s for a weekend. Experiencing culture in different cities around the world inspires my taste immensely. Exploring new cultures through art, fashion, music, and food and integrating those elements into my daily life.
What is the best-tasting thing you’ve ever eaten? My grandmother’s Mississippi biscuits, handmade with buttermilk for crispy, flaky perfection.
What does taste mean to you? Taste is the outward projection of inner values.
Here are Paula’s picks for cooking, creating and entertaining!