Kathryn Hill

Kathryn Hill photo
Syracuse University Art Museum

Describe your Syracuse University experience in a couple of words or a sentence:
My graduate experiences at Syracuse University and the Syracuse University Art Museum have undoubtedly created an enriching and fulfilling education that has shaped me into the art historian, curator, and compassionate individual I’ve strived to become.

What attracted you to Syracuse University?
I was initially attracted to the extensive research opportunities through Syracuse University Art Museum’s encyclopedic art collection and Special Collections’ extensive holding of papers, archives, and photographs. Beyond current opportunities available to students, the expansive alumni connection has proved to be an undeniable resource as I’ve had the opportunity to intern and work with a few already. The close-knit communities of my graduate programs and my colleagues, who have become like family, are a few of the reasons I am grateful for my decision to attend Syracuse, they have all made it feel like home.

What organizations are you involved with on-campus that you are really passionate about and why?
I’m currently a Collections Assistant at the Syracuse University Art Museum, where I work alongside the entire staff to make exhibition and programming opportunities available for the Syracuse University campus and the larger Syracuse community. This position has provided an unsurmountable number of opportunities and experiences that I am so appreciative to have had. Through coursework and independent research, I’ve gotten to work with artworks I never thought I’d get to see so closely—I’ve handled etchings by Rembrandt and seen the back of Helen Frankenthaler’s painted canvas— these are just two of the opportunities that in reminiscing on still take my breath away.

For the past year, I have also been a member of the George Fisk Comfort Society, the graduate art history student organization, which has developed opportunities for professional development and contributions to the wider arts community. Through GFCS our art history graduate cohort has created connections with the MFA artists to develop the Random Access catalog which has given art history students opportunities to contribute to publication materials while highlighting the incredible endeavors of the emerging, Syracuse University artists.

Through Museum Studies program I have additionally contributed to an ongoing project organizing the archive and collection of local artist, Dorothy Riester, at the Hilltop House and Studio at Stone Quarry Hill Art Park. Working alongside three other incredible graduate students, who are now lifelong friends, I’ve gotten to expand the skills and knowledge I’ve acquired through my coursework and professional experience at SUArt.

How has your time at Syracuse shaped you?
Through my coursework with the Art History and Museum Studies departments and the mentorship of staff at SUArt, I’ve become a more thoughtful and ethically centered art historian and museum professional. I am deeply appreciative of the staff and faculty who have poured their time and energy into helping me achieve my educational and professional aspirations. Because of their investment into my growth, and the community of my programs, I’ve become more confident in my abilities and have found a place where I can use my voice to challenge exclusionary readings of art history.

What has been your favorite Syracuse experience so far?
There are so many incredible experiences that it is hard to choose, but the opportunity to curate exhibitions with my art history cohort and peers was some of the most rewarding experiences. Syracuse University Art Museum has always been open to students by facilitating areas of research and exploration within the collection and galleries. I recently got to host an artist panel with graduating MFA candidates who are currently exhibiting at SUArt and other CFAC venues. I’ve always had a passion for contemporary art and getting to bridge my interests in art history, museums, and supporting emerging artists through that opportunity has been a highlight of the past three years.

Why do you think alumni should support SU?
Supporting the Syracuse University Art Museum allows students across all disciplines, majors, and backgrounds to utilize art and visual studies for the betterment of their educational and professional goals. Financial support allows SUArt to continue to support graduate positions, like the one I am in currently, which fosters experiential learning and professional experience.

If you had a chance to thank a donor right now, what would you say?
“Thank you” doesn’t begin to graze the surface of my appreciation for donors, alumni, and supporters of SUArt. Through financial support by alumni and engagement with the Syracuse community, I have the opportunity to see the fulfillment of lifelong dreams and professional goals for myself and my graduate colleagues.

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