About half of incoming freshman can’t accurately identify within a $5,000 range how much their first year of college costs, according to a study by the Brookings Institute, an American research group. Greg Gallup is not one of these students.
Now a junior, Gallup is earning a degree in studio art with a concentration in drawing and compliments in printmaking and illustration. He chose to take a gap year before coming to Plattsburgh State so that he could come into it with an understanding of the financial responsibility.
“I took that year to learn about health insurance, what it really means to set up a doctor’s appointment, what my health insurance card means, what the numbers mean,” Gallup said. “I am happy to say that I know exactly how much I owe. I know how to take care of all that loan stuff. I learned how to cook and all sorts of stuff, so I could be independent.”
Gallup has always known he wanted to pursue art. The Plattsburgh State Art Department was recommended to him by one of his high school teachers, a PSUC alumnus.
His illustrations are mainly brightly colored, cartoon portraits of people he knows or has found on Sktchy, an app where people share photos they took that artists can draw or paint royalty-free.
“I love doing illustrations working with inks and washes and very subtle work,” Gallup said. “I’m not very into super saturated or very bold. I usually do people. I’ve been trying to do more environments. I have a tendency of doing figures existing in a void.”
Gallup is an active member of Plattsburgh Association of the Visual Arts, a club that recently painted the new mural on display in the College Store.
Outside of school, he enjoys spending time at local establishments, occasionally going down to The Monopole or Koffee Kat.
Gallup recently had two of his pieces on display at the Migrating Passerines show in Malone.
“I’ve had work in shows before, like I’ve had work in studio selections here,” Gallup said. “But it’s the first time I’ve had my pieces in actual gallery space.”
Gallup works with Art Department Secretary Kimberly Hall-Stone’s office, where he is well loved by students and co-workers.
“There are times in this office where there will be a bunch of students, and they’re all standing around Greg asking him questions,” Hall-Stone said. “I think they see him as someone they can go to for help, somebody that knows more of the answers because he works in the office.”
Although he has struggled with procrastination, time management along with other personal troubles, he knows how and when to deal with obstacles.
“He’s a person that deals with his struggles,” Hall-Stone said. “He’s proactive. He seeks whatever help it is that he needs. He stays on top of doing things that he needs to do. I think he does that better than a lot of people that I know, who tend to put things off, and maybe they don’t address things. He’s one of the most responsible students I’ve met.”
Gallup is inspired by his professors, his sister and his mother.
“I aspire to be her kind of happy when I’m her age,” Gallup said. “She is doing all sorts of stuff. I’m happy to see it. She’s traveling a bunch, going cross country skiing, seeing a whole bunch of the world.”
Gallup is working toward getting more shows, getting his name out there and exploring more. The most clear goal he has is to become a working illustrator. He said besides that, he plans on just going with the flow.
“I’m really proud of Greg,” Hall-Stone said. “As a mother, I would be so proud if that kid was my child.”