During her time as an intern at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Sophie Prado-Tucker has been able to actively engage with a forthcoming exhibition, gaining firsthand experience and insight into the art world.
Thanks to Oxy’s popular InternLA summer internship program, Sophie was able to pursue a 10-week in-person internship with the LA Municipal Art Gallery (LAMAG). Not only did Sophie have the chance to contribute to the creation of a stunning exhibition, she also had the privilege of personally meeting the artists behind the artworks.
“I have always had a passion for exploring museums and galleries as well as appreciating and admiring diverse forms of artistic expression,” Sophie explains. Her experience watching the artists bring their dreams to life during the installation process was truly incredible, she adds.
Through her role as an exhibitions and education intern, she was able to oversee the entire process of exhibition preparation. When she first arrived, the gallery space resembled a construction site and it was difficult to walk around. All the artwork was confined to a single room. However, as the work progressed, the transformation became apparent. Eventually, every piece of art was placed on the gallery walls, creating a harmonious display. This firsthand experience deepened her understanding of the immense effort and detailed work that goes into curating an exhibition. Her academic background in art history further enhanced her appreciation for this complex process.
The final result, titled 2023 City of Los Angeles (COLA) Individual Master Artist Project (IMAP) Visual Artists Exhibition , honors the synergetic relationship between Los Angeles, its artists, its history, and its identity as an international arts capital. Due to COVID restrictions, the LA Municipal Art Gallery remained closed until the recent opening of the exhibition. Over the past few years, the staff has been diligently planning its reopening.
“Interning at LAMAG allowed me to contribute to a significant project that the staff had devoted much effort to,” Sophie says. “The successful opening was a joyful moment as I saw my colleagues celebrate their hard work and I received recognition for my own contributions.”
Upon her arrival at Occidental two years ago, Sophie was uncertain about her academic focus. She knew she had an interest in art, especially since she drew a lot in high school. But she didn’t want to study studio art in college. A liberal arts education played a pivotal role in shaping Sophie’s educational path. After taking a few art history classes, she discovered a new passion and decided to select it as her major. Her interests expanded when she took a history class and realized she enjoyed that, too. After some consideration, she decided to double major in art history and history.
“I feel like they truly complement each other. I’ve learned a lot about art history through history and vice versa.” This interdisciplinary experience has fueled her optimism and open-mindedness as she contemplates her future career path beyond Oxy.
“When I was exploring colleges, I knew I wanted a liberal arts education. Having the freedom to explore various subjects helped me discover specialized fields of study and unique ideas that would have been impossible without the liberal arts. And Oxy’s sense of community stood out to me.”
With anticipation for the upcoming semester, Sophie is looking forward to working at the Writing Center and taking on the role of an art history peer tutor.
After Oxy, Sophie’s plan is to attend graduate school. She is eager to further her studies because Oxy sparked her passion for learning. Additionally, she’s interested in conducting research, a goal that she is excited to undertake in order to dig deeper into the artistic realm.