2016 was rough. After facing a lot of personal issues over the summer I immediately leaped straight back into work at the Fine Arts Library as a graduate supervisor, as well as into a new internship position as a Visual Resources Assistant. I had the opportunity to develop a deaccession policy for the slide collection, as well as digitize and edit hundreds of slides to prepare them for uploading to Shared Shelf. I also took a week to attend the Summer Educational Institute in Chapel Hill, and then I attended the Zine Librarians (un)Conference in Boston at the end of July. I also landed a position with the Auxiliary Library Facility Internal Processing Department for a few extra hours of work for the end of the summer. After forgoing an actual vacation, I started the fall semester with a new internship as a Cataloging Assistant at the Lilly Library, where I was responsible for retrospective conversion (both copy and creating original OCLC records), as well as cataloging the 2016 Miniature Book Society Competition’s submissions and some artists’ books. At the Fine Arts Library, I installed another exhibition, this time on a recently acquired collection of Occuprint posters from the Occupy Movement. Additionally I worked on the first iteration of my masters essay, which I have decided to focus on queer utopias and the queercore zine J.D.s. It was a big shift from my undergraduate focus on colonial Latin American art, but after meeting our new contemporary art specialist in the art history department and working with modern art as an assistant in the art museum’s Department of European and American Art, I think I’ve been converted to a modernist. After curating a Josef Albers installation last semester, I was invited by my supervisor to co-curate an exhibition to celebrate the centennial of Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain. We’ll start installation at the beginning of next semester, and my “Noon Talk” on the exhibit will be in February.
After hibernating for a couple days, I’m finally picking up steam again during this winter break to prepare for some big projects in the upcoming semester. On top of job applications, I’m hoping to launch a new podcast about the MFA studio students here at Indiana University. I see this as a great opportunity to archive and create content about emerging artists. Information about these formative years is always so sparse. Not to blow my project’s potential out of proportion, but I think this could be a useful tool for contemporary art researchers. It would additionally help provide more web exposure for student work, and help connect them to library resources. Since our Fine Arts Library is currently without a Head, I will be pursuing this project independently (with support from the Society of Art Librarianship Students) but hope to transform this into a library project wherever I end up landing a job. More information on this soon (I hope)! With the assistance of some very generous travel awards, I will also be attending both ARLIS/NA 2017 and VRA 2017. I will be co-presenting a poster titled “Reciprocal Relationships: Student Organizations and Professionals” with Kendra Werst, current president of the Society of Art Librarianship Students, at both conferences. I’ll also be moderating and organizing the Graphic Novels Special Interest Group meeting at ARLIS since my co-coordinator (the group’s founder) won’t be able to attend this year (more information on the Graphic Novels SIG meeting will be added here).
It’s been especially tough to move on in this field with the impending closing of the Fine Arts Library here (and without the immediate support of an art librarian at IU), but there’s so much I’ve gained through this whole process (though I actually went through the stages of grief throughout the fall semester). If anything, I tend to excel with minimal supervision, and this has challenged me to forge my own career path with whatever resources I could find. At the very least, I’m excited to be done with graduate school (at least for a while).