Theresa Nelson is currently in her second semester in the M.A. Art History and Museum Studies Certificate program. She was enrolled in Methodology and Approaches of Art History and Museum Studies in the fall. For the spring semester, she is enrolled in Dr. Barnes’ seminar ARHS515: Art of Spain and Her Colonies and Dr. Shirey’s seminar ARHS535: Seeing Otherness: Afropean Intersections.
Where did you go as an undergraduate and what did you study?
I went to the College of Saint Benedict where I majored in English and minored in Art History.
What drew you to the University St. Thomas?
What drew me to St. Thomas were the people. I met Dr. Victoria Young, Professor and Chair of the Department of Art History, and we immediately bonded over St. John’s University—St. Ben’s brother school—and she was welcoming and open to talk about the program with me. She also put me in contact with Dr. Heather Shirey, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, another helpful source to talk to about the program. I quickly came to the conclusion that I really like these people and would like going here.
What advice would you give someone thinking of coming to the St. Thomas M.A. in Art History and Museum Studies Certificate program?
Talk to people, whether it’s the faculty or students. This was the reason that I chose St. Thomas.
What are you currently interested in?
That is a hard question. When I first started in Art History, I was set on studying Impressionism. Then it moved to Modern and Contemporary art. Currently, I am unsure, so I am eager to take the variety of courses to find something that clicks and that stands out. However, as a broad category I have always been interested in Surrealism and have become more interested in feminist performance art. In addition, architectural history has become more of a minor interest. I don’t know very much about it, but I’m interested in delving more into it.
How are have your classes been?
Good. They are the perfect classes to start the program. I had taken other theory classes before, both English and Art History, so it’s a lot of review, which was a nice way to ease in, but also some new things building on information that’ll be useful going forward. Museum Studies is very discussion based, which I like. Talking about things is a good way to dive in to ideas of Museum Studies instead of something that is more research based. I think hearing my peers’ ideas when they come from such a variety of backgrounds allows you to see Museum Studies through an array of perspectives.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Does procrastinating count? I have always been a chronic procrastinator. The workload is manageable, classroom discussion comes naturally, but motivating myself is sometimes hard. I’m glad that I am working alongside taking classes, but sometimes the call of Netflix is strong when there are so many things going on!