As a recent graduate from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and History, I decided to forgo immediately pursuing further classroom education. Truthfully, I was eager to get out of the classroom to acquire tangible work experience. I never could have predicted that this route would return me to a former hometown. The Samek Art Gallery of Bucknell University would change that assumption.
The opportunity to work as a gallery fellow contains its own automatic appeal. The position entails working closely with each member of the staff to assist in all programs and operations of the gallery. A special focus is given to aiding the Director in curatorial projects. The experience offers insight into the inner workings of an art institution. It is an excellent environment to further develop as a professional. Yet, I was still hesitant to come back.
I spent the past four years living in Pittsburgh. I became enamored with all the amenities offered by the city. The urban lifestyle, a developed art scene, and numerous cultural institutions were all newfound fascinations. This does not mean I developed a disdain for Central Pennsylvania. It contains its own undeniable charm. However, the old could not compete with the new. In addition, I was committed to continued involvement in the arts. I did not see how this would be available in any rural area. A simple interview here at the Samek would erase those thoughts. It was clear from the beginning that this was a chance to participate in something unique. Director Richard Rinehart stated his mission to transform the Samek Art Gallery. This would involve not only bringing in a wide range of artists form afar, but also finding new ways to engage the community. It became apparent during my tour that this mentality persisted throughout campus. Here, I would be able to become part of an ambitious institution that is determined to provide a wide range of culture unavailable anywhere else in the region. One set on providing not only for its students, but also its community. Now I question why I ever doubted this opportunity.