Student Spotlight: Casey Lee Shelton

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  • Who are you and what do you do?My name is Casey Shelton and I am a Junior Art History Major and Chemistry Minor at Winthrop University. I am the undergraduate intern for Winthrop Galleries. This semester I am studying art restoration/conservation abroad in Florence, Italy.IMG_1587
  • What’s your background?My background has always had some form of the arts in it. Growing up I drew in my free time, messed around with art sets, and played cello. In high school I  learned that I loved watercolors. I began to get more serious about my art knowledge in college, both in the studio during foundation’s classes and in other aspects of the art industry. This was partially due to the strong desire to pursue a career related to visual arts.
  • Explain what you do in 100 words? In 100 words… I assist the Galleries’ director, Karen Derksen, with exhibitions in the three Winthrop galleries and manage Winthrop’s art collection. My job is different every day! During installation of the newest exhibitions I’m making labels and signage, announcing the upcoming events on social media, and anything else needed. Each exhibition is unique, which means I get practice handling a great variety of situations in curating and gallery administration. With collections management, I maintain pieces in the collection. I assure that records are kept up to date and that pieces are properly stored, and fulfill requests for art for spaces throughout campus.
  • What work do you enjoy doing most? Conservation of traditional paintings. Learning conservation techniques has been a history and art lesson in one. It’s fascinating to continue practice of a craft that has been modeled through the centuries. I took interest in paintings because traditional oil paintings have always been fascinating, chronicling genres and history through a medium.

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  • Describe a real life situation that inspired you? I love to travel. It has meant so much in shaping my character and been one of the main sources for my inspiration and career goals. Experiencing the efforts of people preserving their heritage and culture through their art made me appreciate the existence of art careers and I realized that I wanted to help ensure that future generations experienced not just the aesthetics of art forms, but understood their historical and social value.
  • Why art? Art; whether visual, performance, or musical, is the purest expression of the self.
  • What memorable responses have you had to your work? I wouldn’t necessarily say memorable in the usual sense, but I remember most of the work I’ve done in studio being related to the urge of either shredding it or always thinking it wasn’t done. I think those responses were a major reason why I turned to art history…
  • Professionally what’s your goal? My professional goal is a permanent position as a conservator in a European museum. Traveling abroad inspired my love of art history, especially that of the western arts. I’m currently learning in my study abroad semester that the opportunity for individuals in the conservation field is fantastic in Europe. I’m gaining so much insight and experience that I wouldn’t have imagined at my novice level!IMG_1737
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