Getting Personal: Christina McClelland

Getting Personal: Christina McClelland

Each week, we offer an email Q&A with a local personality. Today, Melissa Merli chats with Christina McClelland, 26, of Urbana. She is an artist, curator and arts administrator, currently working as the public arts coordinator for the city of Urbana. McClelland recently was named a Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts and gave a presentation last week at the PechaKucha on her days in a 4-H llama club.

What time do you typically get up? What do you do the first hour of the morning?

I usually get up around 6:15 a.m. I eat my granola, listen to some NPR, do some stretches and get dressed.

What did you have for lunch today? Where? With whom?

Farro, asparagus and cherry-tomato salad at home, with myself. A good time to get stuff done.

Best high school memory?

My friends and I started an unofficial student organization called Gravity Club. It involved dropping seasonal items off of a tower in a local park to much fanfare. The best one was dropping a child-sized toilet (found abandoned outside an elementary school) off of the tower to celebrate back to school. I think the tower is now closed to the public.

Tell me about your favorite pair of shoes.

Black suede Franco Sarto wedges with leopard print heels — comfortable, chic and a little bit unexpected.

What does a perfect Sunday afternoon include?

Outdoor grill-out parties with my fianc, Kevin Berg, and other friends.

Was there one book you read as a child that you still cherish? Own? Read?

I've always been a big fan of the L. Frank Baum "Wizard of Oz" books. There are some wild characters in the series.

Where on Earth are you dying to go? Why?

I'm always dying to go back to New York City. So many great shows at the galleries and museums. I was so bummed to miss last year's Richard Artschwager retrospective at the Whitney, especially since he died right after.

Tell me about your favorite pet.

My beloved pet rabbit, Fairy, was sweet and entertaining, especially after we discovered that she was actually a he!

Have you discovered that you are becoming like one of your parents? Which one and how?

My dad and I share the same bizarre sense of humor. My mother has often told me when she is frustrated with me that I am "just like your father!"

What would you order for your last meal?

Everything on the menu at Lao Sze Chuan in Chicago.

What can you not live without?

Art, the Internet and the television show "Arrested Development."

Who do you have on your iPod?

At the gym I have a soft spot for Ke$ha. Otherwise, I'm loving vintage Hawaiian music, Django Reinhardt, Solange and Haim.

What's the happiest memory of your life?

I had wonderful experiences as a 4-H'er showing rabbits, goats and llamas at the county and state fair in Iowa. Every summer, I get quite nostalgic for it.

If you could host a dinner party with any three living people in the world, whom would you invite?

Actress Tina Fey, Anne Pasternak of Creative Time and Terry Gross of NPR's "Fresh Air."

What's your best piece of advice?

Stay in motion.

What was your first job and how much did you make an hour?

Camp counselor at Camp Funshine, a children's day camp in Ames, Iowa. I think I made $7 an hour.

What was a pivotal decision in your career and how did you arrive at that decision?

After undergrad, I worked for Project Art at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, coordinating performances, events and workshops in the hospital. That experience led to me discovering (and embracing) my talents as an arts administrator, in addition to being an artist.

Do you have a bad habit? What is it?

I'm continually reminding myself to enjoy the process and not stress so much about achieving the final result.

How do you handle a stressful situation?

By making lists, sublists and more lists.

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