News

Photograph by Gordon Schmidt
The artful scholar
The student who talked her way into a gallery job and created her major

Some students choose a major. Lindsay Hamm, ’17, created hers. It’s art conservation — a degree that she developed through the interdisciplinary studies program.

She is also a curatorial assistant in the Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art in the Modlin Center for the Arts, a position that, like her major, she forged herself after approaching a member of the museum’s staff.

“I feel like that’s how I’ve found my experiences,” she said. “More often than not, people are really responsive and willing to help. It’s definitely been one of the best things I’ve done during my college career.”

It began last summer when Hamm landed a fellowship with Jeremy Drummond, chair of art and art history.

“I wanted to meet and talk with as many people in the arts world as possible just to learn about their careers, how they got to where they are, and what formed their decisions,” she said.

One of the people she met was Elizabeth Schlatter, deputy director and curator of exhibitions, who was in the midst of curating an upcoming exhibit called “Crooked Data: (Mis)Information in Contemporary Art.” Hamm knew she had to be a part of it, so she approached Schlatter with an offer of assistance. A short time later, Hamm was serving as the lead creative designer for the online exhibition catalog, conducting email interviews, and co-moderating a talk with featured artists.

Hamm’s time with University Museums has exposed her to a lot of different aspects of the art world in general, experience she hopes to parlay into a summer internship shadowing a conservator. Ultimately, Hamm plans to attend graduate school to continue her study of art conservation.

“What I like about conservation is you’re just helping the artist live on,” she said. “I think that’s a really awesome way for me to find my way.”