Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Alumna Profile: Marika M. R. ('10) in London

I graduated from UE with a BA in Art History and a minor in Business Administration, and following commencement in May 2010, I moved to England to start my career in the arts. The education I received from the brilliant staff in the Department of Archaeology and Art History, as well as the experience I gained as an intern while attending UE, fully prepared me to find a position within the art world. After a month in England, I found an opportunity to start gaining experience in gallery work.

My current position is Gallery Assistant at the Idea Generation Gallery in Shoreditch, London. Shoreditch is a trendy art area in downtown east London. The gallery is fairly new, having been open now for two years, and it is part of a PR company for the arts. The gallery exhibits mostly photography, and photographers including John ‘Hoppy’ Hopkins, Robert Altman, Nat Finklestein, and Mick Rock have exhibited at the gallery. My role at the Idea Generation Gallery has included assisting with print sales, performing networking and social media for the gallery, and doing research for new exhibitions. For our recent exhibition, Mick Rock: Rock Music, I participated in the Launch Party for the exhibit and the closing event with the artist, and I helped with marketing the event, print sales of the work, and an auction preformed by the artist.

While at UE I took advantage of the opportunity to complete an internship for course credit at the Evansville Museum, where I assisted the Registrar with the set-up of five exhibits, completed condition reports and numbered objects, and updated the museum database.  This experience definitely helped me land my current position in London.

My classes at UE and the professors that helped me on the way to graduation also helped me get where I am today.  Dr. Heidi Strobel advised me throughout my university career.  She is dedicated to her students and continually pushes students to be better.  She encourages thought-provoking class discussions and critical thinking, engaging her students.  I took my senior seminar class with Dr. Ebeling, and in this class I learned the skills needed to get out into the real world.  She gave her students the last push in helping us to decide what we are doing after we graduate and gave us all the information and training on how we can get there.  In her class we were given the individual attention we needed.  Dr. Thomas also gives students individual attention.  The knowledge the Archeology and Art History department faculty possess is enthusiastically passed on to its students.

Life in London is treating me well!  I have been in love with the never-ending cultural things to do, museums to see and galleries to visit.  The city is fast-paced and full of diversity.  England wasn’t much of a culture shock- it is very similar to the US, but with so much more history (yay)- although I have managed to learn to drive on the wrong side of the road and in manual while also being left-handed.  It is truly favorite city thus far and I love having the opportunity to visit other European countries and art around the world.  In the future I plan to take on other roles within the art world in order to gain more experience with exhibition and curation, and I am planning to attend graduate school for museum curation.

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