We caught up with Pacheanne Anderson, one of the Reginald Browne scholars in London, to hear about their experience as a student on the art business master’s programme at Christie’s Education. We find out from Pacheanne about student life before and after the pandemic.
By Pacheanne Anderson
A year ago this month, the email came through that I had received a place on the course with a full scholarship and it is an understatement to say I was ecstatic. Upon entering the course, in terms of the teaching styles, how supportive and friendly staff would be, and the potential friendships or relationships that would be birthed, I did not know what to expect. The first term was especially daunting, as the invisible friend we all very much try to avoid is ‘imposter syndrome’ overwhelmed me – I had never studied in such a magnificent space, with people from different classes and walks of life foreign to mine, and most dauntingly embarking on the above as one of two of the first black students to ever study the course.
The guest lectures, masterclasses and field trips have been extremely insightful and the best part of my learning. I enjoy hearing from the art world professionals who have experience working in the commercial and public sectors and of course, working with Christie’s specialists. The most productive realisation through talking with these has been that each of their careers pathways have been diverse and completely unique. The masterclasses are especially eye-opening, as they are only a group of 10 so we are able to engage with them personally. It is great hearing the practicality of creating and managing art business rather than relying on the theoretical material we learn in class.
Without hesitation, I can say that the most exciting part of studying the masters has been the study trips abroad. Experiencing the ways different countries interact with art and how the sectors differ has been intriguing. The LA trip in particular, having already visited Frieze London, alerted me to the social and phenomenological effects of different approaches to the art market - via the differing layouts of art fairs biennales, access and spatiality of public and commercial spaces and art hubs.
The only negative aspect of the course so far, has been the switch to online teaching due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been extremely efficient - we have had access to the same level of group and 1-2-1 teaching as usual, but mostly has not affected my learning experience. However in the Art pathway for this term, it is very much centred around intimate, focused artist studio and gallery visits, the virtual experiences have been somewhat underwhelming in comparison.
In conclusion, the last three terms have been rich with contextual analysis of art history in relation to the current times, through many categories of artworks, which I did not previously think I would have had an interest in. I have a special new love for Antiquities which would not have been something I would have considered researching and engaging with before the wonderful and whimsical lectures and visits to the British Museum with Andrew Spira. Similarly, the Law and Business syllabus has been extremely eye-opening. I am now able to consider and acknowledge the lengthy processes of shipping and logistics, exports rights across different countries and things like artist resale and copyright that has already been useful for me practically when working with artists or through curating processes. Each pathway of the course has encouraged lateral thinking and realising how they all interconnect has reignited my urge to explore the option of writing and critic as a potential avenue of my career.
In the next edition of Art+Education, we hear from Robyn Orovwuje-Forbes on her experience of studying the master’s programme in Art History and Art World Practice.