Two M.A. in Museum Professions alumnae recently collaborated on a technology-based art exhibit at the Pierro Gallery in South Orange, New Jersey. Emily Brostek, M.A. ’18 and Claudia Preza, M.A.’18 co-curated “tech(in)dependent,” which explored individual’s personal attachment to devices and the almost universal dependency on them from the perspective of five contemporary artists.
Brostek and Preza selected multimedia works including paintings and film to discover human concerns that have evolved through the ubiquity of social media, mapping, and surveillance and its effect on citizenship and technology in the digital age. The exhibition was part of the University’s South Orange/Seton Hall Connected initiative, which explored citizen engagement in our increasingly digital, technology driven society.
“The exhibition served as a connection between technology and art,” Preza explained. “Today’s generations are growing up with technology and they see it as part of their lives, but it has not always been that way. With the advent of fake news and the issue of net neutrality, this exhibition was a very timely subject.”
Brostek shared that the exhibition opened her eyes to her own dependency on technology. “That is what our exhibition was all about,” she said. “Technology impacts our lives, regardless of our opinion of it being positive or negative. It is in realizing this impact that we can then identify if we are independent or dependent of technology.”
As Exhibition Development track students, Brostek and Preza initially worked together for the track’s Producing an Exhibition course. They co-curated “RISE.” in the University’s Walsh Gallery in Fall 2017. The exhibition brought together artworks that engaged a variety of social injustices and sociopolitical issues that continue to impact society today.
“Our experience in Producing an Exhibition absolutely prepared us for this exhibition,” Brostek said. “The hands-on experience with Jeanne Brasile, adjunct faculty and Walsh Gallery Director, prepared us for every aspect of curating and because of that experience we were confident in the decisions we made for this exhibition.”
Brostek and Preza are looking forward to future projects and collaborations. After graduation, Brostek began working as the development assistant at the Long Island Children’s Museum and Preza, who was a Dean’s Graduate Scholarship recipient and a Steward in the Communication and the Arts Graduate Student Association, attended the Emerging Curators Retreat at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles.
The M.A. in Museum Professions is an innovative program designed for individuals interested in pursuing careers in museums or related cultural institutions. Students in the program select one of four professional tracks, including Museum Education, Museum Registration, Museum Management, or Exhibition Development. Exhibition Development students complete Producing an Exhibition, a course that allows a small group of students to produce an exhibition in the Walsh Gallery or an alternative location under the guidance of the gallery director.
The College currently offers three Master's-level programs, including Museum Professions, Strategic Communication, and Public Relations. In addition, four dual-degree options, including three accelerated B.A./M.A. programs and a dual M.A. degree with the School of Diplomacy and International Relations are offered. A Ph.D. program is currently under development.