Post
Jeffrey Bussmann
May 15, 2015

"Art has the power to transform people!"—recent Penn graduates reflect on their ICA experience

Commencement 2015 at Penn has come and gone, which means we must bid a fond farewell to graduating seniors who have been work studies and interns at ICA during their student careers. This year, Jeffrey Bussmann, Associate Director of Development, profiles our three departing student workers and asks each of them to reflect on their time at ICA.

Student workers Dina Moroz, Tiffany Chan, and Joan Oh (2015)

Tiffany Chan (Wharton ’15) — ICA Development Department

What did you study at Penn and what are your plans after graduation?

I’m graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Economics. Although my studies have largely revolved around management theory and behavioral economics, I’ve had the privilege of exploring my interest in art through courses offered in the Fine Arts and History of Art Departments. This fall, I’m relocating to New York City, where I’ll kick off my career as a management consultant. In my spare time, I plan on exploring the city’s art scene with former ICA Marketing Intern, Dina Moroz.

What is your most memorable experience from working at ICA?

Assisting Lucas Michael, who captured Warhol-inspired polaroid portraits of guests at ICA’s 50th Birthday Benefit in 2014. It was such a pleasure to work with someone who has a firm grasp of his artistic vision. I remember him spotting former ICA Director Janet Kardon from across the room and immediately asking me to make sure that she posed for a photo. She had the look of one of Warhol’s models. Mr. Michael was also kind enough to indulge my many questions about his process!

The Happy Show

Was there an ICA exhibition or program that changed your perspective in some way?

In the past couple of years, our university has been abuzz with talk of mental health. I remember my first time walking through Stefan Sagmeister’s The Happy Show in the spring of 2012. Our ramp space boasted an impressive wall of floor-to-ceiling bubble gum machines, labeled 1 through 10. Above this display was the question, “How happy are you?” Visitors removed gum balls from the machine that corresponded to their response, and by the end, the levels of gum balls varied across the board. This past year, upon reflecting on the exhibition, it struck me that every machine had been used more than once - reflecting the sentiment that no one need feel alone, and that those who need it should not feel ashamed to seek help.

Is there anything you learned at ICA that you will use in your future endeavors?

“Art has the power to transform people, and through people, the world.” Thank you for instilling this idea in each one of us, Amy!

Amy Sadao Lunches with Interns

Dina Moroz (School of Arts & Sciences ’15) — ICA Marketing Department

What did you study at Penn and what are your plans after graduation?

At Penn, I majored in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. I also minored Consumer Psychology and in Hispanic Studies.

In September, I will begin the Buying/Planning Executive Development Program at Macy’s in New York. I also plan to continue writing in my spare time.

What is your most memorable experience from working at ICA?

Although there are so many experiences that stand out in my mind, I have to say that my most memorable experience was getting to meet Moyra Davey multiple times and writing a profile about her for an English class that I took last fall. Moyra connected me with a number of people involved with the making of her exhibition and book Burn the Diaries and also with a woman who appears in some of her photographs. Writing my final piece for the class about Moyra’s life and work was a once in a lifetime opportunity and one that would not have been possible without ICA.

Moyra Davey mailer

Was there an ICA exhibition or program that changed your perspective in some way?

I began my internship at ICA during the summer after my sophomore year, which was just a few months before the opening of the exhibition Jason Rhoades, Four Roads. I had the opportunity to help with various aspects of the exhibition and learned a great deal about both Rhoades’s life and work. Helping with this exhibition definitely changed my perspective. As I learned more and more about his life, I was able to derive more and more meaning from his provocative installations. Of course, studying the history of art and learning about the life of an artist allows one to derive a better understanding of any particular work of art. However, the Rhoades exhibition showed me that this kind of deep understanding may be even more critical in the realm of contemporary art, which can often evoke a multitude of interpretations.

Is there anything you learned at ICA that you will use in your future endeavors?

I learned a diverse array of skills pertaining to marketing and communications—press, advertising, and social media—during my time at ICA. However, more importantly, I learned the value of mentorship and teamwork. I had the opportunity to work closely with Jill Katz for nearly three years and with Becky Huff Hunter for nearly two. They both took the time to explain every project to me and answered all of my questions. This kind of collaboration allowed me to work towards a common goal and made me feel that everything I contributed had a purpose and impact. Going forward, I will strive to maintain this kind of close collaboration regardless of the size of any team I may be a part of. When it is my turn to be a mentor, I will lead by example.

Jason Rhoades, Four Roads

Joan Oh (School of Design ’15) — ICA Curatorial Department

What did you study at Penn and what are your plans after graduation?

I am an MFA graduate in Interdisciplinary Arts. Our thesis show will be held in Brussels for all of June. I plan on going to Belgium, then travel all over Europe this summer. Afterwards, I’m going to continue living in Philadelphia and make camp (find a studio, teach, assistantships).

What is your most memorable experience from working at ICA?

One of the great things about working for ICA was being able to attend the personal tours by the artists of the exhibitions. It was nice to listen to the artists’ perspectives and thought processes for their shows.

Artist Barbara Kasten and curator Alex Klein leading a members

Was there an ICA exhibition or program that changed your perspective in some way?

Part of my job was to organize and catalog all of the exhibitions at ICA from the last 50 years. It was really exciting to go back in history through old slides of exhibitions that showcased Andy Warhol, Marcel Duchamp, Jenny Holzer, Terry Adkins, Tacita Dean and many more. A lot of these artists’ work still resonates and influences the work being made today.

ICA@50 Installation View #3

Is there anything you learned at ICA that you will use in your future endeavors?

I’ve learned many skill sets but I’m hoping that in the future, I will see my peers and ICA staff around in the art community in Philadelphia. I’ve met great people that I plan on seeing and keeping in touch with in the future.

Find out more about becoming an ICA intern or work study!

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