A Day in the Life: An Externship at the Hyde Park Art Center

August 23rd, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Here is a post from Keri Asma, MA ’13,on her recent externship to the Hyde Park Art Center. Keri is also one of the MAPH mentors for the upcoming year, so you’ll probably be hearing from her fairly often.

Externships are opportunities for recently graduated or current Master’s and PhD students to shadow alumni in various careers for a day. Rather like extended informational interviews, externships provide students with a chance to explore a particular profession, no prior experience necessary. If you are interested in learning more about externships through the University of Chicago, visit the CAPS website here: https://careeradvancement.uchicago.edu/jobs-internships-research/graduate-student-externships.

 

The Hyde Park Art Center is, as many of you probably know, a perfect example of the possible intersections between art, community, education, and humanistic inquiry. My externship at the center this summer not only gave me a sense of the individual work of MAPH Alumnae Kate Lorenz and Brook Rosini, but also provided a holistic picture of how their work contributes to a much larger project—one which like MAPH is centered on creating a community which can engage critically, passionately, and excitedly with the arts.

This post will be something between an introduction/plug for the HPAC, a reflection on what I learned, and an encouragement for doing externships. This is just one account of engaging with alumni, with the community, with the arts; there are probably lots more out there.*

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The Path from MAPH to Running an Online Art Gallery

December 5th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

Drew Messinger-Michaels (MAPH ’10)

Drew Messinger-Michaels  ’10

 

Some Gallery Somewhere

It’s 2010, and the week before graduating from MAPH, I walk into an art gallery with my best friend. We’re intellectual equals, this friend and I, but I’ve studied art history formally and he hasn’t, and he is painfully aware of this fact. He doesn’t form an opinion without immediately turning to me for confirmation, validation, and general assurance that he gets it.

And I try to tell him that’s silly and self-defeating. I try to make my friend understand that he’s free to find a given piece of art life-changing or yawn-inducing or anything in between, and to drive that point home, I try to humanize the sainted artists whose work we’re both trying to get.

Penitent Hour – Ruth Gregory

 

I joke about Marcel Duchamp being foremost a provocateur and a jerk (which he was), and about how so many pre-Renaissance paintings feature baby Jesuses who look like Mikhail Gorbachev in miniature (which they do). But that just makes things worse. What my friend hears is simply that I know lots of stuff, and that he should shut up because he doesn’t know nearly as much stuff as I do. He stops offering opinions, and so I clam up, too. We walk around in silence for a while.

This time next year, I’ll be the Founding Director of a new, online art gallery. I’ll be clicking that last “OK” button that will peel back the Under Construction page from our website, and I’ll be thinking about my friend, and about how badly I want to help smart-but-intimidated people like him find artwork that they’ll love.

More about Drew’s work running Gray Blush Gallery after the jump. . .

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From MAPH to the Smart Museum: Diego Arispe-Bazan

September 21st, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

The Smart Museum is on campus and always free.

Here’s a thoughtful piece from Diego Arispe-Bazan (MAPH 2011), who worked as a MAPH intern at the Smart Museum on campus after graduation. Diego talks about his work, focusing on the introduction of new technologies into the gallery experience and curatorial practice.

Here’s an excerpt:

The debate on interpretive technologies was lively among the Smart interns. It centered on the issue of how multiplicity in experience could be flattened out. The argument is not without basis: interpretive technology, used indiscriminately, can turn a gallery into an arcade. In fact, certain visitors who shared this view eschewed the iPads entirely. However, through my observation and the comments gathered from the museum guards, it became clear that those who chose to pick up the iPads were eager to embrace the integration of interactive digital media into the gallery experience.

You can read the rest here.

Meet an Alum: Kristen Wahl Hagan

November 11th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Kristen Wahl Hagan entered MAPH in the Fall of 2005 after having received Bachelor’s degrees in Clothing and Textile design (Virginia Tech University) and Art History (Indiana University).  She came to MAPH intending to apply for PhD programs in Art History, but her experiences working in the art world also gave her a sense of the benefits of the MAPH degree on its own.  As she put it, “Jobs in the art world are few and far between and they’re often very coveted, so even though you know that you don’t need a PhD or a Masters degree to do the job, having that gives you a competitive edge in the job market.”

Hagan’s plans began to change pretty quickly once she got to MAPH.  She was surprised to find that the two professors of modern art history that she had most wanted to work with were on sabbatical.  Though initially disappointed, Hagan came to view this set-back as an opportunity to make her MAPH experience truly interdisciplinary, embracing the chance to become involved with other departments. Hagan says that after taking a class at the Booth graduate school of business, she began to realize that she had more of a business mind and that becoming an academic was not for her.

Hagan’s thesis, advised by Booth Professor Tanya Menon, was the product of Hagan’s cross-disciplinary interests.  By using the thesis project to explore how art museums make themselves accessible to people (or often fail to do so, as Hagan argues), she began a line of thought which is directly connected to her daily work life now. Speaking of her current position as Assistant Director at Gallery KH, Hagan says, “I deal directly with people a lot. In other museum or gallery settings, people are not always willing to speak to you.  I’m very conscious of that in how I deal with people.”

When asked what advice she would give to current MAPH students interested in pursuing careers in the art world, Hagan had this to say: “Because I got pushed out of my comfort zone and was fortunate enough to have success with that, I would say to get outside of your comfort zone, so that you can come back to your discipline with a fresh perspective.” Hagan also suggested that taking advantage of internships and opportunities around Chicago is a great way to figure out early on what kind of work you enjoy.

For more information about Gallery KH, check out their website here.

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