When was your first time in New York? What surprised you the most about this city?

My first time in New York was on a field trip with my highschool in 2019. It was so different from anything I had ever experienced. I was born in Georgia, so I’m accustomed to wide expanses of trees that live almost in conjunction with the people. What surprised me most was how tame nature is in the city; the trees are perfectly placed and centered along the sidewalk, but still small weeds grow through. 

How did you first become interested in art history

Despite growing up in a small town, my mom has always made sure that I had encounters with art. The university near where I grew up has a beautifully curated museum that I fell in love with and dragged my friends to many times. I’ve always been drawn to complicated things, and I think the combination of history with the lived experience and interpretation of artists creates one of the most complex studies possible. While I studied abroad in Florence, I had constant encounters with classical and contemporary art that only deepened my appreciation for all forms of artistic expression. 

Best 3 museums or art sites worldwide according to your taste?

While studying abroad, I had the opportunity to visit the Biennale art exhibition in Venice. The theme was Il latte dei sogni, and each participating country designed an exhibit, many of which were interactive with the visitors as we had to walk through the experiences. They were beautiful and often otherworldly. The MET, of course, is undeniably important in the art world because of how expansive their collection is. I remember the first time I went; I was taken aback by the grandiosity of it all. I think I could live in the MET and never be bored. Lastly, I would have to say that the Uffizi in Florence. When I visited, I was exuberant to see paintings that I had learned about and studied for years. Seeing the piece in person is a completely new experience.

If you could purchase any painting, which one would it be? Why? And where would you put it in your apartment?

Cazadora de Estrellas, 1956 by Remedios Varo. The moment I saw Remedios Varo’s work, I fell in love. In a purely aesthetic sense, I admire her use of colors and the gravity she creates in every scene while maintaining a sense of whimsy. Her focus was on surrealism, and she used images of the occult and of spiritualism to symbolize the struggle women had to be taken seriously in the world of art, particularly in the male-dominated surrealist art form. Many of her paintings are taken to be self-portraits but portraits in the metaphorical sense as parts of herself, representations of her life. In Cazadora de Estrellas in particular, the colorwork is absolutely striking and the figure has an expression conveying the utmost seriousness to which I am drawn. I would put this piece in the entrance area of my apartment, a place in which it must be seen to exit. 

Demetrios Varo, “Cazadora de Estrellas” (1956)

What do you hope to gain from this experience at CIMA? What have you enjoyed most at CIMA?

I am looking forward to spending time in a place filled with art and learning everything I possibly can about the pieces I get to be around. Everyone at CIMA is incredibly friendly and incredibly knowledgeable about Italian culture, art history, and the Italian language. I can’t wait to speak in Italian with people who are truly passionate about the same things I am.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I spend much of my time reading and writing, but over the summer, I decided to learn how to sew and make clothes and have been working on building my skills (and by that I mean having fun and messing around with fabric). I also enjoy finding the hidden parts of nature in New York, especially because I am from a place with many trees and quiet alcoves to sit.