President's Showcase

Sarah Evans

Artist Talk, 7:15 PM, Ballroom E
Poster Presentation, Ballroom D
Party People: Florida State Nightclub Culture as Modern-Day Ritual
Supervising Professor: Prof. Carrie Ann Baade
Sarah Kate Evans is a senior Bachelor of Fine Arts candidate with a concentration in Painting. Interested in popular culture, gender relations, and post-internet adolescence, her figurative paintings examine the influence of groupthink and wishful identification on modern representations of the self and the perpetuation of a culture of excess. Sarah is an Undergraduate Honors Thesis Candidate and Bess H. Ward Honors endowment recipient investigating the popular mythology surrounding the collegiate nightclub scene and its role in modern youth culture. She has also had work published in SIX magazine and the Kudzu Review.


Florida State University, like many other colleges in the US, is known to have an active nightlife scene and is often referred to as a “party school.” Frequent partying, drinking, “pregaming,” and clubbing are often entwined with participation in social groups and understood as a staple of youth culture, defining the “college experience.” From viral videos featured on @barstoolfsu and the social currency of drinking stories to unwritten dress codes and theme nights, the conventions of FSU nightclub culture are as coded as they are ubiquitous. Using crowded collage compositions, neon pigments, and glitter, my paintings echo the “anything goes” attitude of the setting. Synthetic colors and materials compounded with pop culture easter eggs and wild costumes illustrate the pervasive ideas of this sect of youth culture. Varied background interactions compose a greater nuanced narrative within the idealized chaos of the scene. Though the notions of freedom, homosocial bonding, and the creation of a social identity demonstrated by popular collegiate culture are matched by equal and opposite threats, the allure of the party scene keeps participants returning. With its unique visual language, the Florida State nightclub scene functions as a cult-like venue for the shared ideals of reckless abandon and euphoria. This series of narrative paintings examines the popular mythology surrounding the collegiate nightclub scene, depicting the idiosyncrasies of this ritual of modern youth culture.

Presentation Materials

Project Materials

Project Documents and Links