As the academic year comes to an end, students in the College of Communication and the Arts' Center for Graduate Studies reflect on their experiences. Claudia Preza, a student who just finished her first year in the Museum Professions graduate program, chose Seton Hall due to its diverse selection of specializations that matched perfectly with her career goals.
Originally from El Paso, Texas, Preza still remembers the moment she knew she wanted to pursue a career creating exhibitions. She was on a fourth grade class trip to the El Paso Museum of Art to see the exhibition, Idol of the Moderns: Pierre-Auguste Renoir and American Painting on Renoir. As she stood amongst the displayed art, she knew the museum environment was something that interested her. She attained her B.A in Art History, but wanted to expand her opportunities by continuing her education. Preza wanted to be responsible for selecting the art that an audience views, and make them feel how she felt during her fourth grade trip.
"While I was researching Master's programs, I found that Seton Hall's Museum Professions program offered unique academic tracks such as Exhibition Development, which was my immediate field of interest. The classes offered for my track are fundamental to my development as a curator, and the opportunities the program offers are excellent."
Preza is interested in analyzing how current design trends in exhibitions showcase the history behind certain artworks, and how visual expression can influence or manipulate a spectator's point of view of a time in history. Through the class "Exhibitions A-Z," taught by Jeanne Brasile, Director of the University's Walsh Gallery, Preza gained an insightful understanding of the entire process required for a successful exhibition. Through guest speakers and hands-on work in the Walsh Gallery, Preza was exposed to what goes on behind the scenes, and was offered the opportunity to present her own exhibition proposal.
Preza currently interns at the Exhibition department of the Morris Museum in Morristown, NJ. This professional experience along with her academic coursework has challenged her to look at her career at both a practical and theoretical standpoint. Her internship gives her the opportunity to install exhibitions, while her academic background provides context for her work.
"My passion for the fine arts is strong and I want to share that passion with other people. To me, there is nothing greater than working on an exhibit that causes a reaction or influences the emotions of others. I am very interested in presenting ideas that are often overlooked, and showcasing artworks in a way that audiences can relate to their everyday lives."
Preza is looking forward to her second year in the program, as she is currently in the process of creating a new exhibition for the Walsh Gallery. Following completion of the program, her goal is to work at a renowned museum's exhibition department, bringing forth her creative ideas and opening the minds of others.
Categories: Arts and Culture