Kira Lapinsky is currently in her first semester in the M.A. Art History/Museum Studies Certificate program. She is enrolled in Methodology and Approaches of Art History and Museum Studies I this fall.
Where did you go as an undergrad and what did you study?
I did my undergrad at the University of Minnesota – Duluth. I graduated with a B.A. in Art History with a minor in international studies.
What drew you to the University St. Thomas?
I wanted to go somewhere nearby in order to continue working my current job as an administrative and collections management assistant for Thrivent Financial Collection of Religious Art. Both of my team members at Thrivent are alumni of the University of Saint Thomas Art History Master’s program. They both had great experiences with the program, which encouraged me to apply.
How is your experience at St. Thomas so far?
It has been great. The professors are supportive and I enjoy my classmates. I feel like it’s been manageable with my work schedule and I know there are a lot of resources available here at St. Thomas if I need help.
What advice would you give someone considering the Graduate Art History/Museum Studies Certificate program?
I would say a good place to start is to talk to Dr. Heather Shirey (Director of Art History Graduate Program). She is a great resource to go to with questions and advice about the program. In addition, it might be a good idea to talk with another faculty member that is closely in line with your specific area of interest. If you are able to, come to the campus and walk around, get the overall feel of the place the best you can. It also would be a good idea to look at the fellowship opportunities that are available within the program.
What are you currently interested in?
I became interested in printmaking through my job. It isn’t one of the core mediums that you learn about in art history classes, but I learned a lot about it through work. I would also like to explore printmaking in the German Expressionist movement. I am also interested in identity studies, so it’d be interesting to see what women printmakers during the German Expressionist era were doing. That is something I will be looking into as soon as possible, but I haven’t decided on a Qualifying Paper topic yet.
How are your classes this semester?
I am really enjoying both of them for different reasons. Museum Studies exposes me to ideas about museums I hadn’t really considered before. It’s amazing to see all the little things that could change to make the museum experience more enjoyable and easier for people. So, I really like it for its applicable knowledge. Further, the Methods class is also applicable in your research. In addition, it’s nice to recognize ways of thinking for research and being able to put a name to it, like Marxist or Feminist Theory.
What has been your biggest challenge?
I have always, to some extent, struggled with procrastination. So, it’s making sure I’m doing what I need to do in time, considering my work schedule on top of my classes – in a nutshell, time management. I always seem to make it work.