Taylor Menendez is currently in her first semester in the M.A. Art History. She is enrolled in Methodology and Approaches of Art History, The Sacred in Unexpected Places, and Museum Studies II: Collections, Curation, and Controversy.
Where did you go as an undergrad and what did you study?
I went to Buena Vista University in Iowa. I studied studio art and Spanish. I especially liked installation art. For my capstone I created a large installation project.
What drew you to the University St. Thomas?
I was trying to decide if I wanted to get my MFA or M.A. in Art History. I wanted to go into museum studies, so I chose the Art History route instead of being a starving artist. St. Thomas had an art history program, but also a museum studies certificate as well.
What advice would you give someone thinking of coming to UST Graduate Art History?
Even if you live far away, still go for it. I can tell after the first couple of weeks here that this place has high standards for their students and professors really care about your future.
What are you currently interested in?
I really like Dadaism and especially Marcel Duchamp – pioneer of the movement. But also, I like 70s performance art such as feminist artist Carolee Schneemann. I can’t forget my love for contemporary art. Being an artist myself, I am always trying to find inspiration. You find a lot of that in artists that are living today.
How are your classes this semester?
Pretty good – it is a lot more reading than I am used to. I’m used to a lot of studio time, but I am keeping up. I don’t have a full-time job, just a part-time job at the Asmat Museum. I feel like I have plenty of time to do my homework for now.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Moving here was really hard. Just trying to find a place. Trying to rent an apartment and schedule visits was difficult being so far away. I’ve never lived in huge city with more than 10,000 people. First, my husband had to find a job to see if he could move here with me. Then, we had to figure out which area we wanted to live in. It’s the little things – what hospital should I go to? Grocery store? You are relearning everything and trying to trust people.