Alexandra Nasto '13: From Museum Intern to Exhibitor

Alexandra Nasto '13 with her acrylic painting
Alexandra Nasto '13 with her acrylic painting "Untitled" (top).

Alexandra Nasto’s ’13 summer internship at the New Britain (Conn.) Museum of American Art (NBMAA) led to one of her works being exhibited at the museum’s Juried Members Show in October.  Nasto, a curatorial intern at the NBMAA from May to August 2012, submitted an acrylic painting she had completed as part of Hamilton Professor of Art Bill Salzillo’s design class last spring. The painting was one of the works selected by juror Robert Burns, director of the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, Conn.

“The painting, Untitled, is an abstract study of color that incorporates elements of design that we learned about in class, including complementary colors, enforced contours, optical illusions and depth perception,” said Nasto. “The only guidelines given were that the painting had to incorporate pairs of colors that played off each other in interesting ways. Although on the smaller side, the painting took weeks, and hours upon hours of work to complete, because of the meticulous lines and interlocking color pattern I created,” she explained.

Nasto submitted her painting to the juried show after her supervisor, Assistant Curator Angelina Rogulina, overheard her and another intern discussing their art, and suggested that they enter the Members Show in October. The show ranged from abstract art to photography, sculpture, landscape paintings, portraiture and collages.

Nasto credits her Collections Internship at Hamilton's Emerson Gallery last spring with helping her obtain the curatorial internship at NBMAA. She is now a student docent at the Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art. She said most of her job at the NBMAA involved writing for upcoming exhibitions, from wall labels and newsletter articles, to press releases and online scholarly articles for the Museum's blog.  Nasto also researched new acquisitions for accessioning, and created presentations of this research for the Acquisition and Loan Committee which met each month. She was also able to participate in Exhibition Committee meetings as well, where the initial planning stages for future exhibitions occurred.

“The internship was a great experience; because the museum has a smaller staff than can handle its growing collection, the Curatorial Department really relied on my help, and in the process I was able to work with numerous departments, including Marketing, Collections, and Education,” Nasto recalled.

A  Russian studies major and studio art minor, Nasto said she gained valuable insight into museums from both ends, and the experience has reinforced her desire to continue working with art and in museums after graduation.

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