Where are they now?
Complete Interview with Michael Rose, Gallery Coordinator at the Providence Art Club and 2013 Art History graduate.
What was your most unexpected learning experience during your time at Bert Gallery?
Finding the value in connoisseurship. I worked on an online exhibit of pieces by Margaret Bittkow-Koehler (http://bertgallery.com/gallery/online/margarete_koehler_bittkow/) and the internship essentially began with Cathy and I going through the body of work and selecting pieces to include or exclude. It seems like a simple procedure, but Cathy gave me a lot of valuable input on what she felt were the most important pieces to include. This gave me a real sense of how a gallery professional evaluates historic artwork.
How did this internship impact your decisions in the art world?
Throughout college and even in high school I knew I wanted to work in the arts in some capacity, but my experience with Cathy helped me to flesh out what kind of opportunities existed in the world. Working alongside Cathy made the field of gallery work seem much more approachable and understandable than it would have been had I not participated in the internship. I would credit the internship as a large part of why I have my current position as a gallery coordinator.
What were your favorite and your least favorite part of the internship?
I think that in the moment, my favorite part was the most obvious. It was working with the objects and putting together the conceptual aspects of the online exhibition. At the time, the part of the internship I appreciated least was probably the more “behind-the-scenes” type of work such as entering things into Filemaker, photographing pieces, or measuring artworks for matting and framing. But in hindsight I’ve found that my job as a gallery professional now is pretty reflective of my time working with Cathy. It’s equal parts fun and administrative.
If asked to share a piece of advice with a current PC art or art history major, what would you say?
Don’t underestimate the power of networking. I have been offered some odd jobs and seemingly strange opportunities like volunteering for the Art League, or consulting for WaterFire, and taking advantage of everything that came my way has been a huge help in building my resume quickly. I know it can be hard to take an unpaid internship or difficult to find the time to make these professional connections, but at the end of the day getting a job is really all about who you know. I know that I was offered my current job based largely on my professional network and references.
In the next five years, Michael intends to deepen, enrich, and continue his career at the Art Club. He is also interested in working as an independent art consultant and obtaining an appraisal studies certificate.