Discovery-driven, Aesthetic, Spiritual: Moriah Salins’s Artistic Journey at Southern Virginia University

Moriah Salins (’25)

When Moriah Salins (‘25) first started at Southern Virginia University, like many students, she wasn’t sure what she wanted to study. After taking psychology, art, philosophy, and music classes, she decided on an art major and a double minor in philosophy and music. It was during this process of exploration that she discovered an intense love of learning.

“I’m trying to make art my career and everything I do is feeding into it,” Salins said. “It’s not all separate. All of my learning and everything that I do in music, philosophy, and everything else helps my art to become better.”

During Salins’s freshman year, Associate Professor of Art Doug Himes fostered her desire to learn in her Drawing I class by encouraging the class to read books as a way to become well-rounded artists. Taking his advice to heart, Salins was motivated to pursue topics outside of her art major. 

“This place has really nurtured my taste for art and what I see as beautiful,” Salins said. “Being in the Appalachian mountains, I go up to the Blue Ridge Parkway, the little trails, or down to the river, and that has really influenced the way I see art and make art.”

Having a desire to continue exploring a wide variety of topics, ideas, and information, Salins decided to join the university’s Honors Program. There she enjoys having in-depth conversations with her professors and fellow students that challenge her to think critically.

“I’ve been able to discover what I like and what I don’t like and nurture the talents that I already have,” Salins said. “A lot of them have to do with arts, but I also realized that I really just like learning and reading and researching.”

Thriving in the small classes, Elton enjoys the relationships she’s developed with her professors who provide personalized feedback, encourage her to ask questions, and often explore spiritual connections in her academic studies. 

“Seeking Truth”

“Because Southern Virginia is a place of spirituality, professors will bring up aspects of the gospel and apply it to what we’re talking about in class,” Salins said. “I have my academic classes, and then I’ve coupled them with Institute classes, and I’m able to center everything that I’ve learned about with Jesus Christ.”

From Meridian, Idaho, Salins is a member of the university’s women’s tennis team, and recently married Kevin Salins (‘25) in the Washington D.C. temple in November 2023. She won first place in the university’s student art show during the Spring 2023 semester for her piece, “Seeking Truth.”