Chatham undergrad practices the art of scholarship
For Kathryn Blumen, Chatham’s Accelerated Graduate Program opened new windows into Pittsburgh’s arts scene.
Kate was selected by the Society for Contemporary Craft (SCC) as its 2010 Cheteyan Scholar – the first from Chatham University. She’s currently pursuing a Master of Arts Management degree through the Accelerated Masters Program at the H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management while completing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Arts Management with a minor in Museum Studies from Chatham University.
During her tenure at SCC, Kate will assist with registration and installation responsibilities of the exhibition department. Her specific area of focus will be preparatory work for an upcoming exhibition titled DIY: A Revolution in Handicrafts (September 10, 2010 – March 26, 2011). Highlighting the diverse range of production in the DIY (Do It Yourself) sector of craft art, the show will present a range of contemporary forms and materials artists use to show their interest in reuse/recycling, self-reliance, individualism and a different type of consumer relationship.
“What I really appreciate about interning at SCC is that it is a small organization so I get to experience more than just working inside one department,” Kate says. “Working at SCC gives me a more hands–on learning experience in an arts organization over a longer period of time, something I have yet to experience.”
Chatham’s Bachelor of Arts in Arts Management is an inter–disciplinary major, combining courses from business, economics, and fine and performing arts. The program is designed to prepare students for either immediate placement in managerial positions in a variety of visual or performing arts organizations or for graduate study in arts administration. Students must specialize in one area of the arts and are urged to gain pre-professional experience by completing an internship in their chosen fields. The Museum Studies minor is the only program of its kind in Pittsburgh.
“Because our core program at SCC is exhibitions, the four–member selection committee focused on identifying the candidate with the strongest skills in the area of arts management,” said SCC Director of Exhibitions, Kate Lydon. “Kathryn has experience working with artists and exhibition installation, and we thought her knowledge of museum studies and her experiences would be a great addition to our staff.” Lydon recognized the challenge faced by the selection committee in choosing this year’s scholar. “We were very impressed with the caliber of candidates. Each year’s candidates have come from a larger national pool, indicating the growing significance of the Cheteyan Scholarship in the field. The 2010 candidates represented some of the top art universities in the country.”
Sewickley businessman Michael Cheteyan established the Judy G. Cheteyan Scholarship in 2002 in honor of his wife and her devotion to contemporary craft. The scholarship funds an annual summer internship that provides a college graduate or undergraduate student studying arts or arts management with the opportunity to gain professional experience within a nationally and internationally known contemporary craft organization. The internship was created because the Cheteyans believe that the arts and education make for a stronger community. “It’s really a way to make connections with young people– to bring out their talent and allow them to develop their creativity,” she said.
Blumen is SCC’s ninth Cheteyan Scholar and was selected as one of 20 Chatham Scholars in her entering class, a distinctive achievement. She was a recipient of Chatham University’s Rachel Carson Book Award, given to high school juniors who excelled in writing with interests in environmental issues, and has worked with the Morgan Contemporary Glass Gallery and Three Rivers Arts Festival. She expects to earn her BA degree in May 2010 from Chatham University and her MAM from Carnegie Mellon University in May 2011. Blumen lives in the Brentwood section of Pittsburgh.
“I grew up in Pittsburgh and hope to continue living in Pittsburgh into the future,” Kate says. “It’s great to be involved with such a unique organization like SCC which is not only dedicated to craft but is also contributing to this region in many ways.”
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