Kathryn Amato is a member of Marist's M.A. in Museum Studies Class of 2011. She received a BA in Art History and Studio Art from Marist. She is employed by MTA Arts for Transit and Urban Design.
Why did you choose Marist?
I chose Marist for my Master’s degree for a few reasons. First, I had attended Marist for my undergrad degree and had an amazing experience. Marist offers many short-term study abroad programs in which the students earn credit for classes. I was lucky enough to do three of these short-term programs, one of which was throughout Italy. So, I knew a full Master’s program abroad in Florence with Marist would include experienced staff and faculty. Even more so, the idea of completing a Master’s in Museum Studies in a city so rich in history and culture, with some of the oldest museums in the world, would be simply priceless.
Tell us about a project or course that was particularly meaningful to your professional development.
Museum Ethics and Law was a particularly meaningful course for my professional development. I’ve always been interested in the idea of artists and museums working together and what ethical and legal issues could come up. The course truly helped me to explore this interest and focus the direction I would take for my thesis. As synchronicity would have it, while completing my internship and writing my thesis, the museum I interned for had this very type of issue. Stemming from the class, I was thoroughly prepared on how to address such a subject. Even in my current position, legal issues come up fairly often and I feel I have the tools to understand and suggest a course of action.
Tell us about your internship experience.
My internship experience was great, really educational and truly fun. I worked as a full-time intern in the Communications and Marketing department at MASS MoCA, a contemporary art museum in Massachusetts. Throughout my time there I did everything from giving daily tours through the galleries, promoting museum events, writing the official blog, to meeting all kinds of fascinating artists. I would highly recommend this type of internship for any person going into the museum field.
How has a degree from Marist enhanced your career?
My degree from Marist has enhanced my career greatly. I’ve now realized that working in the public art field in New York City usually requires a Master’s degree. The skills and education I gained from the MA program helped me to prepare for this type of environment. Interestingly, many artists that I directly work with know some of the faculty from the MA program. Those connections may be serendipitous, but knowing that some of the very teachers who taught me in Florence are associated with artists I work with in NYC validates the MA program for me even more.
Where are you currently working?
I work for MTA Arts for Transit and Urban Design. We help administer permanent artwork in the subways and train stations throughout NYC, Long Island, and along the Metro-North lines. We also run programs such as MUNY (Music Under New York) which supports musicians playing in the subways and Poetry in Motion that pairs a short poem with artwork which is viewed by straphangers on the subway. We also have a popular poster program, in which we commission artists to design posters that are seen by millions every day in the NYCT subway system. Our program is often referred to as the largest museum in New York City, as we have permanent artwork throughout a span of over a 5,000 square- mile area.
What advice would you give to a student considering pursuing their MA in Museum Studies?
I would highly recommend the program to students considering their Master’s degree. Not only is the program’s curriculum great for developing a career in the museum or public art field, but the location in Florence, Italy is spectacular. Continuing your education is a great idea, but continuing your education abroad is an even better idea.
Profile Tags:Profile Type: Alumni
Major: Museum Studies
Academic School: Communication and the Arts