The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Career Center presents “Careers in Arts” Brown Bag

SMU’s Career Center hosted four local professionals involved in the arts during a Brown Bag lunch on Wednesday.

Three of the panelists were SMU graduates, while the fourth was an alumna from TCU. Allie Nikolaisen of the Dallas Museum of Art, Cris Worley of a local contemporary gallery called PanAmerican Artprojects, Courtney Kennedy of Heritage Auction Galleries and artist Niki Gulley contributed to the panel.

The first part of the lunch was composed of each of the women individually describing their work and background. Worley described her post-college years and how she traveled to Seattle to work in the world of galleries.

She said she was sure to get a job because she thought, “I’m smart, people like me and I’m a good person.” She garnered a laugh from her co-panelists and the audience when she revealed it was not as easy as all that.

Gulley also described her background. After changing her major from studio art to advertising, Gulley became art director for a Dallas magazine, but “I felt like something was missing,” she said. “I wanted to be more creative.”

She quit her steady job and is now a full-time artist and loves it.

After describing their current work and background, the panelists fielded questions from those in attendance. One art history major inquired whether or not it was necessary to acquire a masters or Ph.D. to work in the field. The panelists were pretty much in agreement; it is not necessary, but is extremely beneficial.

Kennedy stated, “It’s always good for people to get real-life experience because it makes you a better student,” when talking about the benefits of being in the workforce before going to graduate school.

She also stated that she intends to go back to school eventually, but not out of necessity, simply out of a desire for personal growth. However, all of the panelists stressed internships and Nikolaisen spoke of how she wished she had taken more business classes while in school.

Other topics brought up at the lunch were good ways for artists to make contacts with galleries, what is important for those wanting to work in auction houses and lesser-known fields in the arts such as art therapy and art law.

The consensus from the panelists on how to be successful in the industry, however, was a passion for the arts and an open mind.

“There are many careers in arts,” Worley said. “You don’t know what’s going to come your way, so you have to be creative and open.”

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