Telling your parents that you don't know what you want to do with your life, or worse, that you want to major in art history can be a challenge. But never fear, the collaboration between the Career Planning Center (CPC), the Bowdoin College Museum of Art (BCMA) and the art history department is here to the rescue.
Now, one can pursue your art passions without living in a cardboard box.
Associate Dean of Career Planning Dighton Spooner, Curatorial Fellow of the Museum of Art Diana Tuite and Associate Professor of Art Stephen Perkinson are putting together a series of "career conversations" with members of various areas of the art world.
Perkinson explained that it can be difficult for students interested in working within the arts to learn about job opportunities, or even what kinds of jobs are available.
Perkinson hopes that these talks will "give students a leg up on that by bringing in people who've got interesting jobs, and who've arrived at those positions via some often pretty complicated, but also quite interesting, paths," he said.
Spooner talked about the benefits of utilizing people who intersect students' academic lives in a variety of ways and further emphasized the fact that creative fields are different than, for example, finance or medicine, where there tends to be a fairly clear path laid out for students.
He said that these career conversations are intended to give students insight into the opportunities available to them, as well as skills and experiences that might be useful to them.
Furthermore, these talks allow students to network. Spooner described the CPC's goal of uniting faculty and staff across the Bowdoin campus, alumni on Polar Net and LinkedIn, and members of the professional community, such as those speaking at these talks, in a "network of people who are coconspirators in student success," he said.
The first of these career conversations will feature Bruce Brown and Suzette McAvoy from the Center for Maine Contemporary Art who will speak about management and programming at contemporary arts organizations.
"We thought this would be a wonderful opportunity to introduce students to other members of the Maine arts community—like the incredible staff of the Center for Maine Contemporary Art—with whom we work regularly, but whose organizations the undergraduates here may not be aware of," said Tuite.
This conversation will take place today at 3 p.m. in the Zuckert Seminar Room of the BCMA.
In the second conversation, "Merging Worlds: The Career of Edward Cooke," Professor Edward Cooke of Yale University will speak about his career, which has entailed curating, teaching and writing about decorative arts, before giving a public lecture entitled "Beyond Necessity: Chairness and the Myths of Function."
This is a perfect example of how Tuite says she hopes to use "the presence on campus of scholars, museum professionals and other individuals with careers in the arts who may be here already to participate in a lecture or conference" to benefit students.
This conversation will take place on Friday, November 5 at 3 p.m. in the Zuckert Seminar Room of the BCMA.