Professional Development and Career Resources

  • Image by Demetrius Oliver

Careers in the Arts Panel

Thursday, January 31, 2019 4:00pm6:00pm
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Fisher Fine Arts Library, Kleinman Center Forum, 220 South 34th Street, Philadelphia

Join us for a discussion on careers in the arts. Each of our invited distinguished professional artists will give a brief description about their unique career path. Through thoughtful conversation students can ask questions and get inspired by career difficulties and successes. Topics of interest include how independent artists maintain and manage an art practice. Snacks will be served! RSVP is encouraged but not required.

Confirmed panelists:

Diane Burko (MFA’69) is a renowned artist and activist. Her practice is at the intersection of art, science, and the environment and focuses on the urgent issues of climate change. She wants her work to not only be appreciated aesthetically but to be used as a tool for social change and environmental policy, compelling attention and thought. Diane collaborates with glaciologists and oceanographers, first in a project called Politics of Snow. This utilized such visual data, as repeat photographs (revealing the recessional history of glaciers), Landsat maps, ice melt charts and diagrams. She used the strategy in her book Bearing Witness for her Polar Investigations project adding empirical evidence of that data by making expeditions. Just as ice is a key indicator of environmental change, so are our oceans. She is now exploring coral reefs, another threatened ecosystem which also presents the urgent issues of global warming. Diane sees her commitment to witness, record, translate, and communicate scientific information as an antidote to climate doubt. Diane also engages with the public in various media and forums throughout the country, speaking at geological conferences, universities, grade schools and think tanks. The National Academy of Sciences just closed the 6-month run of Diane’s Endangered: From Glaciers to Reefs. Her next Endangered exhibition will be at the Cindy Lisica Gallery in Houston, from May 3 – June 6, 2019. In 2021, Diane Burko: An Artist Confronts Climate Change will be at The American University Art Museum in Washington, D.C.

Lauren Kelley is currently the executive director and curator of the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art and Storytelling in Harlem, N.Y. She is a 2015 Creative Capital Award winner and a 2011 Louis Comfort Tiffany Award recipient. She has been a resident of the Skowhegan School, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Glassell School's Core Program and the Studio Museum in Harlem. This year the artist is also a resident at the Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation's Studio Program. Her work has been exhibited in such venues as the Centre Pompidou, the New Museum, Spelman College Museum of Fine Arts, Sikkema Jenkins & Co., and the Contemporary Art Museum Houston. Reviews of her work have appeared in The Huffington Post, New York Times, The New Yorker, Art:21 Blog, Art in America, ArtLies, Houston Chronicle, and Houston Press.

Demetrius Oliver (MFA'04) received his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, his MFA from the University of Pennsylvania, and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. His work has been exhibited widely, with solo exhibitions at the Print Center, Henry Art Gallery, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; High Line, Inman Gallery, D’Amelio Terras, and P.S. 1/MoMA. Group exhibitions include MASS MoCA, The Renaissance Society, The Studio Museum of Harlem, Marian Boesky Gallery, Roberts & Tilton, Acme, and Tracy Williams Ltd. He has taught as a lecturer at Princeton University, Cooper Union, Parsons, and Rice University. He currently resides in New York City.

Entrepreneur Amrita Sen (W'92) is a well-known artist, designer, and Bollywood singer-songwriter. She brings her abilities in music, fashion and art together in her Amrita Sen line of products. Prior to launching these products, Amrita worked as a licensing agent for major artists and brands, record executive and, at the start of her career, in investment banking. She received her undergraduate degree from Wharton and has her MBA from Harvard. As an artist and designer, Amrita debuted her art publicly at Art Basel Miami in 2011, in which she exhibited 26 colorful back-lit illustrations. She commercialized these and other similar illustrations in various collaborations and products. Amrita partnered with MAC cosmetics on a Winter 2014 limited-edition illustrated Brush Kit and coordinating Makeup Bag. Before Amrita started her music and art-focused businesses, Amrita owned and operated Vault Agency, a branding agency for celebrities and corporations, for 10 years. Vault provided its high-profile clients with opportunities to extend their brands into new areas like clothing, fragrances, accessories and endorsements. Amrita is also a member of the PennDesign board of overseers.