Curatorial Panel Engages Alumni at Second Creative Hour

By Veronica Mora (Ryman ’14), Alumni Fellow

The second Creative Hour with Ryman Arts, an exclusive event series for Ryman Arts alumni, took place on December 12, 2019, at Edward Cella Art + Architecture (ECAA). This event series was developed to foster discussion and community among Ryman Arts alumni in the creative industry, with this Creative Hour focusing on alumni involved in the curatorial field.

Creative Hour was hosted by ECAA, a gallery at which Ryman Arts alumnus David De Boer (Ryman '98) is director and curator, and featured a thought-provoking alumni panel discussion.

The accomplished alumni on the panel included Lucia Fabio (Ryman ‘03), Independent Curator and Director of The Homer Project; Nicole Budrovich (Ryman ‘06), Curatorial Assistant at the J. Paul Getty Museum; and David De Boer (Ryman '98), Director & Curator at ECAA. As the 2019 Alumni Fellow at Ryman Arts, I had the honor of moderating the panel.

Nicole Budrovich, Lucia Fabio, David De Boer, and Veronica Mora (left to right)

Surrounded by La Chapelle du Poulet—ECAA’s featured exhibition of Jeffrey Vallance’s drawings, paintings, and found objects of Blinky the Friendly Hen—the panelists and I discussed their experiences in the curatorial field as well as their memories of being a Ryman Arts student.

“When I was in Ryman [Arts] we were allowed to go to Disney Imagineering and draw with the Disney artists, and for me that was the reason why I changed from studying psychology to applying to go to art school...I was taking 5 AP classes, doing Ryman [Arts], playing sports, and it did not matter my homework load, I would go every Wednesday night, and I would draw.” – Lucia Fabio

I asked panelists about the museum and art gallery exhibition industry, the particular research their careers have focused on, and challenges and obstacles they’ve faced along the way. An interesting discussion arose around how objects accrue value in the art world, touching on recent events regarding Maurizio Cattelan’s banana artwork, Comedian, at Art Basel Miami Beach this past December.

“My continued interest is [in] why objects have value. That’s why I like doing this, and as a curator, you’re at the frontlines of developing value in something that really outside of the context of the art world can be kind of meaningless. It’s classic Maurizio Cattelan...they’re not buying the banana, they’re buying the idea of that object...And that collector, the collector of that object, they become part of the reason why it’s valuable. It’s a commentary on the market itself.” – David De Boer

The discussion neared its close as panelists recalled specific moments that reaffirmed their chosen career path.

“I do take time to do tours for the public, and I think that’s a good chance to refocus...A couple people came up after [the tour] and were just so enthralled and wanted to talk more about the Ancient World, like how I got into studying it and why. And sharing that excitement that brought me into it originally was really cool." – Nicole Budrovich

Alumni were so engaged that the Q & A session following the panel could have continued for another hour were it not for the time. This Creative Hour definitely showed that Ryman Arts alumni are as passionate about the study of art as they are about its creation, and that our alumni network grows stronger every year.

Panelists engage with their fellow alumni post-discussion

Attendees socializing after the panel