How did you arrive at the Brookline Arts Center? What made you interested in joining the BAC as the Administrative Assistant?
Coming from a background in the arts, I’ve always had a passion for working for nonprofits that emphasized community art programming in an inclusive environment. Having experience working within the museum and non-profit spheres, I knew I thrived in a work environment with like-minded artistic individuals who focused their energy on creating accessible and multicultural artistic opportunities for budding young artists. It is this energy and vibrancy from young artists that drew me to the Brookline Art Center. More specifically, I highly valued the work that is being implemented through the ARTreach program. By providing accessible art and cultural opportunities and scholarships for low-income families showed me BAC’s commitment to valuing all community members despite their financial impediments.
Tell us about your background. How did you become interested in art?
Practicing the arts has always been a part of my journey, whether it was painting my dining room walls with whatever marker I could find, or trying to problem-solve a problem that had more answers than one. It wasn’t until I attended Lesley College of Art and Design that my interest in photography and interdisciplinary arts developed and grew into what they are today. The skills I’ve gained as an artist have benefited my life in more ways than one, teaching me professional development skills and reminding me that art is one of many critical thinking tools in my tool kit. My artistic practice now explores a variety of mediums, including photography, video, sculpture, performance, and music. My work has always been inspired by popular attitudes of internet culture, focusing on how we express our sexuality and gender identity through the pleasures and simulations of the internet.
What passions do you bring to the BAC community?
I have always been interested in community involvement and helping to institute inclusive and culturally diverse programs in education-based settings. Not only does this feel like a passion, but also a necessity: to highlight and support QTBIPoC students and artists and various other marginalized creators. I strive to help the BAC to continue creating enriching educational programs for all ages from intersectional perspectives.
What do you enjoy most about the BAC? What has brought you the most joy in this role?
Since reopening, it has been a blessing to see students enter our doors. They are overflowing with creative energy and ideas, some experiencing their first educational environment ever, others returning, eager to try something new! After this past year, we are all eager to find that glimpse of a serotonin-filled future. Whenever I see a student discover something new from making a mistake, or starting to use their correct pronouns in the classroom, I can’t help but feel lucky to be a part of such a creative safe space that encourages artistic growth and self-discovery.
What was your favorite childhood art project?
I’m reminded every few sessions at BAC of my favorite art exercise. I know it’s happening when I hear the tinkering silence of the student’s concentration followed by a commotion of pencil thrashing and belly laughter from down the hall. In college, blind contour drawings were the bane of my existence, but after some appreciation, they became my favorite meditative exercise. Blind contour teaches you to look slowly and carefully at every detail, not focusing on the end product, but the journey. Corny, but accurate!
What artists or kinds of art are you into right now?
My favorite artists are always shifting and changing, just like my art practice itself. Some artists I’m admiring right now for their attention to site-specific installation and collaboration of sound, video, and sculpture are Alex De Corte, Sondra Perry, and Camille Henrot. I’ve always been quite dissatisfied with a framed photograph hung on a wall, so I admire artists who are challenging the traditional notions of gallery installation and criticizing the white-male-centric gaze of the art world. I also appreciate artists’ work that challenges our fabricated understanding of colonialism and material cultural production. Some artists who work within these critical lenses are Stephanie Syjuco, Clarissa Tossin, and Cauleen Smith. I’m always looking to find new artists that change my perspective on the world.
What are three things that you would want the BAC community to know about you?
When I’m not at work I’m either tending to my plant babies, roller skating, or creating weird nonsensical magic that I like to call art! I am eager to meet more of the Brookline and Boston-based art community as more doors begin to reopen!