In May 2018, Master in Gallery Management & Exhibits Specialization (MGES) student Kristen Grant was hired as Gallery Intern—through Western’s MGES internship program—and hit the ground running. She began assisting the Manager and the Director with daily tasks and correspondences, packing and shipping artwork, installing shows, doing social media, among other tasks. After putting a lot of work into the exhibitions she helped install and promote, Grant found that things just clicked, and she was offered the position of Manager of the gallery when the previous Manager moved to a design firm just a few months later.
Grant was not completely new to the Arts District in NOLA.
“I’ve been working for a few years now in the membership department and front desk of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art,” Grant said, “as well as having worked at the Contemporary Arts Center as a Gallery Attendant for some time—so I knew my way around pretty well, but it was an extremely challenging and exciting summer, navigating this new territory.
“I learned so much about gallery management, running a business in general, working with artists and hanging shows, and how to actually sell the work and coordinate events and future exhibits. I’m very much looking forward to continuing my work at this gallery, applying what I’m learning in my MGES classes and vice versa.”
When asked about why she had chosen Western’s MGES program, Grant said, “I had previously studied under Dr. Jeffrey Taylor, and I had heard great things about this new program through him and others. Dr. Heather Orr was certainly very persuasive and warm, and I got a great feel for what Western would be like through our many conversations while I applied. I was also very intrigued by the location and the classes being offered, and to continue my education in this field with people as welcoming as they are.”
Grant had particular praise for the accessibility of the professors, as well as the many hands-on activities they learned during the two-week practicum on campus in Gunnison.
Photo courtesy of Kristen Grant.