Director of Development, RxArt
Q. What brought you to Christie’s Education?
I wanted to get my master's degree in art history with an emphasis in business and the market. I focused my search based on programs that offered a core curriculum of academic art history with the incorporation of teachings on the art market and key business practices within the field. Christie’s Education offered exactly that. It was the staff, intensive and collaborative work environment, and hands-on approach with access to so many parts of the art world that solidified my decision.
Q. How did your classes shape your career path?
I came to Christie’s with experience working for a renowned contemporary art institution, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, and paid particularly close attention to the role of the museum and educational side of the art world within the context of all of my classes. The History of the Art Market course provided a rich contextual backbone to chart the important historical benchmarks of the art world and pushed me to consider future applications to collecting, philanthropy and arts education based on these chapters. The Connoisseurship course provided a hands-on approach to honing my eye and consider the many ways of looking and asking questions. The Modern Art Survey course strengthened my knowledge of over two centuries of artists and movements, enriching my vocabulary and ability to speak about them. All of these acquired skills have provided me with a solid foundation from which I’ve built on within the various positions I’ve held at fine arts organizations in New York.
Q. What would your advice be to our current students looking to start their careers in the non-profit sector of the art world?
Overall, be as passionate about the organization’s mission as possible. Whether you are a director, curator, educator, or in my case, fundraiser, this passion and understanding will allow you to be the best advocate and spokesperson for the institution. Also, starting at the entry level and working in various departments is not a bad thing in any sense; it allows you to come to understand a non-profit organization from multiple angles and, with time and commitment, ideally advance within the department you want to specialize in. Anticipate and be patient with the many layers of bureaucracy; it will serve you well as you learn to navigate the many players involved, especially the board, leadership, committees and ancillary partners.
Q. What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
Playing an integral role in introducing museum quality artwork to children in hospitals throughout North America, often in communities that would not experience the work of these exceptional artists otherwise. The site-specific installations conceived of by the artists commissioned for RxArt projects completely transform what are often stressful settings for the children and their families. The engaging artwork provides a positive and inspiring distraction. Also, I take great joy from developing and nurturing relationships with the philanthropists and partners whose social responsibilities and support allow our mission to flourish. I am fortunate to do something I love every day with a brilliant and supportive team.
Q. How should a new student make the most of their time at CE?
Take the time to talk to your professors and learn from their personal breadth of knowledge, experience and relationships outside of class hours. Get to know the exciting and diverse group of your fellow students as they become your network of resources, connections and advice as you develop in your career after Christie’s. If you’re lucky like I was, they will become friends and colleagues for life!