Stories – College of Arts and Sciences – 71Bait

With funds from the REAL program, Kelsey Elinski ’22 worked to bring art from the de Saisset Museum to the dormitories on campus.

With funds from the REAL program, Kelsey Elinski ’22 worked to bring art from the de Saisset Museum to the dormitories on campus.

By Catherine Joy ’23

The on-campus de Saisset Museum is incredibly close to students living in halls of residence – just a five-minute walk from Graham Hall. However, former Community Facilitator (CF) Kelsey Elinski ’22 (Art History and Psychology) is working to make art from the museum just steps away for students living in Graham and other Residential Learning Communities (RLCs) on campus.

The REAL program enabled Elinski to do an internship at de Saisset last summer. Her time was focused on a self-proclaimed project – Museum meets RLCwhich brings “to the residence halls high-quality reproductions of artworks from the de Saisset’s permanent collection relevant to the RLCy themes.” It never ceased to amaze Elinski that so many students were unaware of our on-campus museum, and believes that “physical art in the dorms will really publicize the presence of the first years.”

Elinski has loved art history for as long as she can remember, but never considered it a major until she took the two-part core Cultures & Ideas course, where she completed her first year: Art of the Indian Subcontinent. Even after the explanation, it was still her “for fun” major that complemented psychology. Her courses at SCU have challenged her to think outside the canon of “Western art history” and exposed her to a variety of artworks from different cultures and eras. “As I took more and more courses, I realized that I didn’t want to end my art history education with my time at SCU, and that’s when I started looking at museum careers,” says Elinski.

Due to the pandemic, Elinski worked at de Saisset on a hybrid schedule: working from home off campus in the mornings, researching and organizing spreadsheets, later going to the museum and discussing what she had done with her supervisor. Next Museum meets RLCshe worked throughout the summer on several mini-projects that helped her “gain an understanding of what goes on behind the scenes in museums,” such as .

“It felt a bit strange when the building was so empty,” Elinski recalls. “Instead of visitors staring at art, it was just me staring at spreadsheets in an office.” Unfortunately, de Saisset was closed to the public throughout the summer. Towards the end of her internship, however, Elinski was able to help with the fall quarterly exhibition, Metaphor, myth and politics, which began when the museum reopened to the Santa Clara community in September. She is grateful that Lauren Baines and Chris Sicat, de Saisset Interim Director and Exhibitions Project Coordinator, respectively, valued her opinion when making suggestions for the layout. “It’s definitely the kind of encouragement I needed to know that I’m capable of a career in this field,” she explains.

Elinski’s time at de Saisset has cemented her hopes of pursuing a career in museum programming and education. After completing her REAL internship, Elinksi stayed in the team as a working student. “I’ve helped with current exhibitions at the museum, including creating labels and social media content for artist Kara Maria’s solo show,” explains Elinski. “I’m also working with a group of student workers to plan this year’s College night at the museumwhich de Saisset organizes every spring quarter.”

Elinski definitely recommends the REAL program to other students. “My internship at de Saisset has allowed me to develop a project based on my own interests, while internships at other institutions often already have projects in mind.” She is grateful for being able to look at many aspects of her life on campus of SCU into one project – living at McLaughlin Walsh Hall during her freshman year and then living and working at Graham Hall during her sophomore and junior years as a CF. The student culture and the different themes of the specific RLCs “provide a great framework for choosing art to exhibit,” she explains.

Miriam Schaprios The Image God (1989) was selected for Graham Residence Hall (Alpha RLC) and represents the theme of innovation, integrity and community impact. Sister Corita Kents Fortified Bread (1969) was selected for McLaughlin-Walsh Residence Hall (Unity RLC) and represents its theme of civic engagement. Elinski hopes that the Museum meets RLC The project will continue so the artwork can be rotated each school year and hopes to expand to other RLCs in the future.

Leave a Comment