ALUM SPOTLIGHT : ALLISON BIANCO

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ART: What are you doing at the moment professionally?
AB: I am a Gallery Associate for Cade Tompkins Projects, an art gallery in Providence, Rhode Island. Cade Tompkins has also recently begun representing my work as well – so it’s the best of both worlds! Recently I was awarded one of three Solo Exhibition prizes from The Print Center‘s 88th Annual International Competition. My solo opens on June 19, 2014.bianco2 ART: How has majoring in Art helped you the most?
AB: While an undergraduate Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts introduced me to various career paths in art and which of those required graduate study. I chose to pursue an MFA in Printmaking at UHM to solidify my identity as an artist. Becoming connected to my thesis committee (Charlie, Chae, Mary and Gaye) and other members of the department was integral to my education. Their commitment to art making, however challenging with classroom and departmental obligations, was proof that it could be done successfully.

ART: What internships or extra-curricular activities have you pursued while in college have been the most valuable to you personally and professionally?
AB: As a graduate student I was an artist assistant for a mural project at 39hotel in Chinatown. Although it was a volunteer position it was a great way to meet local curators, gallery owners, as well as working artists. I also served as the Vice President of the Graduate Committee and co-organized the ArtMania event for the department. These experiences proved valuable in making me aware of the inner workings of the art community at UH and in Honolulu and how I could contribute to the growth of those communities.

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ART: Are there any “optional” elements of the undergraduate experience that you recommend students explore?
AB: For undergraduate and graduate students alike, I highly recommend attending art openings and artist talks on and off campus. They are great places to go with friends, and you will quickly get to know other artists in town and the spaces that show great work. Being visible and available shows your interest to potential clients, employers, teachers, etc. Also, junior and senior year undergraduate students and graduate students should apply for shows. I found that my success rate was roughly 30% acceptance to 70% rejection during my school years, but over time those numbers have changed drastically for the better. Oh and they should definitely register for a free account at Call for Entry. They will send reminders for entry deadlines. Apply often for opportunities and exhibitions that look right for your work.

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