Kymberly Pinder was appointed dean of the College of Fine Arts last July. She graduated from Yale University with a master of arts, master of philosophy and a doctorate, all in art history. In her short time at UNM, she is already making headway, building on existing initiatives in the college and looking to expand.
Art majors – fine arts, performance and otherwise – don't usually follow a predetermined career trajectory. "The future for someone with an arts degree is neither as linear or transparent as a business degree. Artists pursue something because they are compelled to do it. It is their passion. To be successful at it, artists often pursue a multi-pronged pathway," she said.
To help current students understand what the pursuit of art and work is, Pinder wants to bring in alums. "They can explain how their experiences brought them to become an opera manager, or graphic designer in a company," she said.
Pinder wants to see more students have internships – not only because they gives them relevant experience, but also might help shape their career path. "I did a six-month post graduate internship at the Metropolitan Museum of Art after graduating from Middlebury College. I went in thinking I wanted to be a curator. While there I conducted tours, did some research and wrote labels. I loved doing tours, but I didn't like it when the groups left! I learned that I wanted to teach – to have a longer term relationship with students," she said.
Pinder also discovered that the deadlines and pressures in the museum prevented her – and others – from doing sustained research they enjoyed. Those were revelations she took away from the internship that made her pursue a Ph.D.
Another way students get exposure to the breadth and scope of the arts world is through the Arts Management Program. "There are so many ways that arts organizations operate that people are unaware of. Our program provides interns to various organizations, which gives students real world, real work experience that looks good on resumes and on grad school applications," Pinder said.
Pinder held a competition in the fall for an art piece that would be replicated as the college's holiday card. "We selected two, one for the holidays and another to use year round. The original pieces will hang in my office," she said. Pinder would also like the students to have access to their own gallery space somewhere in the city. "Not only would their work be exhibited, but they would learn all that goes into gallery work.
With students, Pinder is organizing a day-long campus art event. She explained, "They will present performances and exhibitions. It could become something the community looks forward to and appreciates each year."
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