Senior arts managment student spent her summer on Main Street
There are two things a person should know about senior Lauren Sottile: everyone calls her ‘Lo’ and art is at the center of her life. This past summer Sottile was appointed Associate Gallery Manager of the gallery Maya IV, a job some people spend their entire college career aspiring to do. Sottile was ahead of the game.
Working as a gallery attendant during the 2010-11 school year, Sottile got to see the business side of gallery managing firsthand. She welcomed patrons in Gallery 51 on Main Street in downtown North Adams while also participating in Museum Studies, an upper-level arts management class. The goal was for students to create an exhibit with the pieces the group agreed to showcase based on a chosen theme.
Sottile’s experience in gallery managing was growing.
“I had learned so much,” Sottile said, “but I knew that being an Associate Gallery Manager would allow me to delve so much further into the gallery world.”
Maya IV is a part of the DownStreet Art entity, featuring artist Jarvis Rockwell, a descendent of famous artist Norman Rockwell. The gallery is seen as contemporary, according to Sottile, but has always been ahead of its time. The pieces are meant to show an example of how people live their lives and even the idea of some kind of afterlife.
Sottile recalled training for her position as something she put her heart into, as she utilized her training when others had gone home for the day. After a quick session on Adobe Illustrator, Sottile dove right into the subject of how to sell art. Community members in the Berkshire art scene tutored her in different ways to approach art, explain it to the public, and overall handle the physical work itself.
It was all worth it when art and life meshed together in a meaningful way, according to Sottile, who truly felt the impact and appreciation of her job.
“This lovely couple came into the gallery,” Sottile said, “and they instantly understood the meaning behind Jarvis’ artwork. Jarvis and I were both there, and it was so beautiful to discuss the art with the couple.”
“Working at Maya IV was amazing. I’ve learned so much more about gallery life and having to figure things out on my own,” she said.
Sottile’s reign of success didn’t stop after the close of the summer; as of right now, she is interning at the Office of Tourism and Community Events in North Adams. Currently working on establishing a better connection with local businesses, Sottile is finding herself immersed in North Adams traditional events and is helping to plan them.
“I am also involved with events like the Tree Lighting and the downtown Winter Fest,” Sottile said. “My individual project is to get the North Adams Banner up and running for the 2011-12 year.”
According to Sottile, she plans to take what she has learned from her time here in North Adams and create a similar community somewhere else.
Sottile credits her time as an arts management major as a springboard into her future; her time in the program has truly helped to assist her in achieving her future career goals.
“I would not be half the person I am without MCLA,” she stressed. “The relationships I have made with my classmates and co-workers are something that I will hold onto forever. Through my experiences at MCLA, I have learned how to voice my opinion, how to get involved, and how to work in countless ‘real world’ business environments.”