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Alumni Docents: Where Are They Now?
Editor:
Andi Harris, Digital and Social Media Strategist
Photo Credit

Janelle Rodriguez

Alumni Docents: Where Are They Now?

Wednesday, January 25, 2023
 

Launched in summer 2022, our ‘Where Are They Now?’ social media campaign shines a light on some of the most vital members of the Wellin family – our student docents. In celebration of the Wellin's 10th anniversary, this campaign runs in conjunction with our current exhibition, ‘Dialogues Across Disciplines: Building a Teaching Collection at the Wellin Museum,’ which is on view through May 20, 2023. 

For this blog post, we checked in with our alumni docents to reflect on the projects that impacted them professionally and the artworks that changed their perspective. Below, we highlight a few:

Ghada Emish ‘19

Print of a boxing match Ghada Emish
 
First up is 2019 graduate, museum volunteer, and freelance research assistant Ghada Emish. Ghada, who is currently based in Cairo, Egypt is preparing to begin her Master’s Studies at Bard College’s Center for Curatorial Studies and aspires to be curator of contemporary photography of/in the Arab world.

What are your future professional goals?
I aspire to be a curator of contemporary photography of/in the Arab world, and my curate exhibitions to decolonize Arab photography. In particular, I am interested in creating conversations around cultural destruction and subordinated Arab bodies in Western photojournalism of the Iraq War in 2003, lack of cultural authenticity in views of Palestinian terrains in photojournalism, and the ways in which Palestinian artists represent and cope with cultural alienation.

What artworks or artists are the most memorable from your Wellin experience?
The collection of 19th century photographs produced by the Italian photography firm, the Alinari Brothers. In my senior year, I spent weeks cataloging the photographs, and I conducted research on the firm's professional activities. Also, from my research for "Innovative Approaches, Honored Traditions," I remember George Bellows’s lithograph print "Between Rounds, No. 1" of a boxing match. I found Bellows’ attention to
details of physical movement to be remarkable for delivering an account of details that may be unnoticed in real time. (pictured above)

What other ways has the Wellin Museum of Art impacted you?
Being in a dynamic professional and intellectual environment motivated me to actively seek opportunities, ask questions and avidly read about artworks to understand their socio-political and cultural contexts.
 


Grace Myers ‘19

detail of the mouths of the four gorgons by Julia Jacquette Picture of Grace Meyers "19

Next up is 2019 graduate Grace Myers, who is studying for the bar exam and will soon be practicing corporate law come August 2023.

How did your experience as a docent at the Wellin impact you professionally?
Working at the Wellin, I had to quickly learn how to adjust my description of any given exhibit based on the audience. A professor, student, prospective student and their family: all had different goals and experiences which I needed to keep in mind in order to give each the best experience possible. This skill has been endlessly helpful in the legal field: a good part of the law is tailoring your argument to the goals and experiences of the listener.

What other ways has the Wellin Museum of Art impacted you?
The Wellin gave me an appreciation for art as a medium of expression; I had always viewed art as purely aesthetic or archival. Seeing how personal it could be really opened my eyes. It made me realize that art is for everyone, both to consume and to produce.

When you think about the Wellin Museum, what do you think of?
I always appreciated how the Wellin catered to every demographic, from artists and professors to local elementary schools. That’s what art should be: both serious and accessible to all.

What artworks or artists are the most memorable from your Wellin experience?
The Unrequited and Acts of Play exhibit seemed to have something for everyone! (exhibition artwork pictured above)
 


Erica Ivins ‘21

Detail of the head of a bearded figure made from colorful food wrappers Erica Ivins "21 portrait
 
Last up is 2021 Hamilton College graduate Erica Ivins who is a current graduate student at Columbia University.
 
What is one memory that you have of the Wellin Museum?
Learning about and presenting on the Michael Rakowitz exhibition in 2021 in my archaeology class on repatriation! I got to be a docent and a student at the same time. (artwork pictured above)

How did your experience as a docent at the Wellin impact you professionally?
Working at the Wellin taught me so much about public speaking, especially how to present information to different audiences. As a history and archaeology major at Hamilton, I spent a lot of time writing about the documents and artifacts I was studying. The Wellin, however, encouraged me to talk about my work in a non-academic fashion, which helped me make my research much more accessible.

What other ways has the Wellin Museum of Art impacted you?
Being a docent at the Wellin showed me the importance of creating and being a part of a positive, supportive, and collaborative work environment. After graduating with my MA in Human Rights Studies in the fall, I hope to someday find a full-time position that will allow me to work with a team of passionate people like I did at the Wellin.


Special thanks to all of our alumni docents who participated and submitted updates for our ‘Where Are They Now?’ campaign and Museum Educator and Docent Program Supervisor, Marjorie L. Hurley. Follow along on social for more ‘Where Are They Now?’ docent features.
 

 
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