Summer Intern Shines at Museum

Song GaoAs a student double-majoring in art and arts administration at the Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences, Diana Blanco took her first step into the art world as a summer intern in the curatorial department at the Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale. Her hard work paid off when she was offered a part-time position there as a curatorial assistant.

Besides keeping up with her classes, Blanco works 16 to 20 hours a week at the museum in downtown Fort Lauderdale, helping with exhibitions. As an intern, she assisted with the conservation and inventory of the museum’s collections.

“The experience is incredible. I learn new things every day,” said Blanco, a junior who plans to pursue a career in museum administration. “In the future, I would love to work in a museum or gallery. In the past few months, I’ve had the opportunity to see how a museum works, especially the curatorial department.”

Blanco’s success reflects upon the co-curricular activities and opportunities available to students because of the collaboration between the college and the Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale.

“Both majors have helped me at the museum. I get to know so much more about both fields and having that knowledge gave me an advantage,” said Blanco, who started as a marketing major and added the new majors of art and arts administration last year through the college’s Division of Performing and Visual Arts.

“Art and arts administrations go hand in hand,” Blanco said. “By majoring in both, I thought it would give me a sense of the bigger picture. Arts administration mixes the two worlds of business and art. It gives you a lot of knowledge of business related to the art world.”

Barbara Ryan, M.F.A., assistant professor in the Division of Performing and Visual Arts, said Blanco is always “honing her skills in both business and art.”

“She was the first art major” in the new program, Ryan said. “When I first met Diana, she was the pioneer. Since then, she has proven herself to be a savvy leader and innovator both in and out of the classroom. She is fortunate to have a keen understanding of what she wants to do in life, and she is not afraid to blaze a path rather than follow in someone’s footsteps.”

Blanco, who will curate the 2010 annual Juried Student Exhibition at the college, was recognized at the 2009 Festival of Student Works with the Dean’s Choice Award for her acrylic painting, Pink Petals.

She started the piece for a classroom assignment and decided to expand upon it.

“It was supposed to be in black and white, a mirror image with negative and positive space. I went home, and I painted the colors and [added] glitter. I took an assignment and did it in a totally different way.”

She always tries to challenge herself, said Blanco, who continues to create her own art work while balancing three majors and a part-time job.

“Things never get dull for me.”