June 22, 2017

In Their Own Words: Sotheby’s Institute of Art Alumnae Mentor Current Students

Art around Las Vegas

Alumni of the Sotheby’s Institute of Art – Los Angeles have yearly opportunities to chaperone a student field-study trip. Las Vegas, Mexico City, Hong Kong, Chicago, and Santa Fe are just a few of the places where our students and alumni have traveled together. Below, some of the alumni chaperones share their recent experiences.

Ashley Woods-Hollister

Executive Director, The Squire Foundation
Master of Arts, Fine and Decorative Arts, London
Las Vegas, Fall 2016

I have worked in arts administration for about a decade now. When I went on an SIA trip to Las Vegas last fall as an alumni chaperone, I started thinking differently about the commercial sites where I spent so much time such as airports, hotels, corporate headquarters, great homes, etc. I learned to look again. Being a visual person is innate in my profession, but relating to my surroundings via the curated art exhibitions around me was a muscle I didn’t realize had weakened. It was fascinating to see our age’s modern masters’ works in their commissioned sites (see photo, above) and to ponder how, one day, perhaps, the museum retrospective on these pieces shall mention this placement. SIA took me there and provided the atmosphere to properly digest it all.

Meow Wolf art installation

Gerlie Collado

Project Manager, The Pasadena Playhouse
Master of Arts, Arts Management 2014
Santa Fe, Fall 2016

I was honored to have joined CGU’s Arts Management and Art Business students on their trip to Santa Fe and Albuquerque last fall. As an alumna of the Arts Management program, and now a nonprofit arts administrator with a passion for participatory arts practices, I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing Santa Fe’s Meow Wolf and its multi-sensory, engaging art installation. This for-profit arts collective and production company is an interesting business model that promotes art creation among trained and amateur arts lovers. A glow-in-the dark sculpture (see photo) entices participants to create tunes by hitting its bones. What better way to provoke people’s creative juices than by enticing them with lighthearted, percussive play? This example of an immersive, accessible arts experience is inspiring for arts institutions as they consider their value propositions to their communities.

Hong Kong trip

Camilla Johnston

Business Development, Los Angeles Modern Auctions
Master of Arts, Art Business 2015
Hong Kong and Tokyo, Spring 2017

As a student at Sotheby’s Institute at CGU, I had the incredible opportunity to take part in travel programs to Mexico City, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Las Vegas, and Miami. In the multicultural world of art and the creative industries, these visits gave me an opportunity to understand the global market in a hands-on manner. Not only this, during our travel, I was also introduced to my current boss at Los Angeles Modern Auctions. As the alumni chaperone on this year’s Hong Kong and Tokyo trip (see photo, above), I was again astounded by the access and experiences that students at SIA-LA have. We met with the executive leadership teams at privately-funded museums, non-profit organizations, and galleries. Of course, we also had the opportunity to take in one of the largest events in all of art, Art Basel – Hong Kong. Simply put, the world-class programming offered on these trips is second to none. Thinking critically about these trips—and how one might apply these new experiences in our lives personally and professionally—has changed the way I see the world as a leader in the fields of art and culture.