The Importance of Art
Unlike any other medium, art dissolves the barriers of communication built by language, social norms, gender, and economics. In this capacity, art transcends societal divisions and has the power to convey the human experience. As the institutions responsible for exhibiting such works, museums shape contemporary culture through their collections. In this respect, I believe it is the duty of cultural institutions to appeal to diverse audiences. As a female identifying Mexican-American, I am drawn to art that illustrates the unique experiences of individuals from minority backgrounds. Through my frequent visits to museums and galleries, I have become appalled by the of the lack of exhibitions within this scope. As a future museum curator, I am committed to using my role to ensure museums become more culturally inclusive. I am applying to the University of Westminster's Museums, Galleries, and Contemporary Culture MA, so that I can develop my curatorial practice and exhibit the artistry of marginalized groups.
While pursuing my undergraduate studies, I jumped at the opportunity to volunteer at the UCLA Fowler Museum. As part of the university's School of Arts and Architecture, this museum produces thought-provoking exhibitions that share the history of fossils, artwork, and artefacts. Through this volunteership, I was introduced to the various departments that operate within museums. I gained an understanding of their individual roles, as well as of their collaborative responsibilities. As a result, whilst shadowing a member of the organization's staff, I was able to reinforce my interest in the area of museum management. I admired the ways by which its application assured all departments ran effectively and in a manner consistent with the institution's goal. As a volunteer, my main responsibility was to work alongside museum staff in the cleaning, identification, and categorization of animal fossils and remains. Through this hands-on learning opportunity, I was able to enhance my knowledge of both preservation and archiving, and became keen to the ways these disciplines utilized art, history, science, and technology to create informative exhibitions. Working at the Fowler Museum has provided me with indispensable industry insight and evoked my appetite for interdisciplinary professional environments.
While attending UC Berkeley I continued to explore my enthusiasm for humanities and social sciences by majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies. Through this diverse curriculum, I strengthened my comprehension of art, history, politics, cross-cultural communication, and foreign languages. These modules cultivated my curiosity in examining art and intersectionality. Through this scope, I began researching the Chicano arts movement, and found myself drawn to its' empowering social and political undertones. I became particularly fascinated by the plight of ASCO, a Los Angeles based Latino art collective, who despite facing racial profiling, fought tirelessly to have their artworks showcased. Their commitment to art activism inspired me to volunteer at the Los Angeles Art Walk, an inclusive non-profit organization, enabling artists to exhibit their work in galleries, museums, and throughout the city's streets. While working as a volunteer, I learned about the meticulous planning, financial investment, and legal permits required to ensure the smooth execution of large scale events. Moreover, while acquiring administrative knowledge of large-scale cultural events, I also developed a deep appreciation for the region's iconic artistic style which incorporates bright, bold colors, murals, and avant-garde performances.
In effect, through my experience with Los Angeles' Contemporary art sector, as well as my passion for intersectional art, I have procured a unique perspective of cultural institutions. This perspective is grounded in the notion that it is the social responsibility of museums and galleries to exhibit contemporary culture in a manner that is representative of the multicultural world we live in. With this in mind, upon completion of my postgraduate studies I am determined to become a museum curator. I believe the University of Westminster's Museums, Galleries, and Contemporary Culture MA, will equip with the academic background and professional resources to thrive in Arts and Cultural industry. As a potential student, I am particularly excited by the possibility of enrolling in the modules on Curating Contemporary Art and Museum Narratives. Through these courses, I hope to enrich my understanding of curatorial methods and obtain the skill set to express artistic narratives within my own work. In addition, I am also drawn to the University of Westminster's curriculum for its unrivaled opportunities to enroll in modules taught on-site at the Museum of London and the Tate. I believe these courses are exemplary of the university's substantial resources and commitment to providing outstanding graduate education.