ArtsForce hosts Career Trek to UMOCA

February 16 2023

By Mors Smith

Hello College of Fine Arts!

ArtsForce had the opportunity to kick off the Spring 2023 semester with our Career Trek to the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, or UMOCA for short. We explored the museum and what careers can be found inside. Golda Dopp Ovalles, UMOCA’s K-12 Educator started the trek off by handing us a custom worksheet sheet to take notes on throughout the trek, showed us around the museum and discussed the curation process for each exhibit.

We first explored the Projects Gallery. Which is currently showing, Beyond the Margins: An Exploration of Latina Art and Identity. The Projects Gallery is reserved for Utah based artists, which can open up more opportunities for curation. The second gallery we explored was the Street Gallery, currently showing: Thomas Campbell: Making stuff to express stuff, To share stuff, So others can feel or wanna make stuff, Hopefully. This exhibit was from a California-based artist, which meant that during curation, shipping costs and size had to be considered.

Lastly, we took a peek inside the empty Main Gallery. Here, we went over each position currently in UMOCA: Curatorial, Leadership, Development, PR/Marketing/Design/Social Media, Education, and Visitor Services. These positions were written on the worksheet, and we were encouraged to write what excited us about the work involved for each one. On the other side of the sheet, Golda gave us a look at what her everyday life might look like. Being an educator for a museum involves a lot of outreach. In the morning, you might be attending legislative sessions on Capitol Hill, and for the evening you could be teaching a workshop. Who knows?  Maybe throw in teaching a group of college students in the middle of that! At a non-profit museum, there is always something for you to be doing.

Golda is three years into her career and she gave us excellent advice for students graduating soon. She urged us to take the initiative in as many networking opportunities as possible: Don’t put up barriers for yourself before you try! A way to approach networking is to have the attitude of helping each other. Being open to networking in this fashion can lead to many opportunities both for you and others. When putting yourself out there, make sure to play to your strengths. Try thinking of three words to describe yourself, and what you want to leave your audience with. Overall we were left with the impression that jobs in the Fine Arts are there and ready for the taking.

After the trek we walked to the debrief and had coffee and snacks. We shared our thoughts about the trek and networked with each other.

Up next is our 10th Annual Networking Event, on March 25th. Make sure to RSVP to celebrate 10 years of ArtsForce!

After that, our next Career Trek to Eccles Theatre in April.

Author Mors Smith is a Studio Art Major with an emphasis in Ceramics and an Emerging Leaders Intern at ArtsForce.