NYC Art Educator Interview #1: Olivia Buscarino!
The field of Art Education is large and encompasses everything from teaching art in traditional schools, to teaching artists, to museum educators, to administrators in art education non-profits. There are different paths that one can take to get to these positions. These interviews are designed to help share the knowledge, experience and expertise of those currently working in arts education positions around NYC with current graduate students in Art Education programs in NYC!
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do in the field of Art Education.
My name is Olivia Buscarino and I graduated with my Masters in Art Education from City College in May of 2014. I am currently the Teen Program Coordinator at the Rubin Museum of Art. I run the after school high school program for students. This program offers students opportunities to explore arts and cultures from across Asia, express themselves in art-making workshops, and discover other art and cultural institutions in NYC.
Q: Where are you originally from and how did you end up in New York City?
I am from Buffalo, New York. I came to New York City to attend Eugene Lang College, The New School for Liberal Arts. I came to study creative writing but I was moved by my internship at the Rubin Museum of Art to change my major and dedicate myself to education. I ended up in New York City specifically for school and did not know that I would stay after school.
Q: Where did you attend school (undergraduate and graduate)? What were your majors?
I attended Eugene Lang College for my undergraduate studies. I double majored in Education Studies and Visual Arts. I attended City College for my graduate studies and received my Masters in Art Education.
Q: And how did your major/school affect your career in art education?
I believe that my path toward becoming an educator was highly effected by my school experience, but also my internship experiences that allowed me to put the theory that I was learning into practice. Both schools that I attended were supportive and offered multiple resources for me to help myself determine what I was most passionate about. I was able to complete several internships, including the Apprentice Museum Educator (AME) program at the Rubin Museum of Art, Summer Teaching Corps through the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Learning Through Art (LTA) with the Guggenheim. I let my experiences guide me to change my major from creative writing to education studies.
Q: Are you doing what you thought you would be doing when you were in college?
Yes I am. Through my exposure to a variety of different educational experiences, I have been most excited about working within museums. I feel at home within my niche of museum education. Because I was an apprentice museum educator at the Rubin Museum of Art, I was able to have extensive and meaningful experiences within teen programing in the museum sphere. These experiences had a large impact on my drive to work with high school students and focus on art education.
Q: What advice would you give to someone who wanted to follow the same career path?
I think that it is important to talk to people in your field and also consider that each path is different. I was drawn to art education through my experience within museums. However, I wanted to be certified in art education, so that I could understand art education from many different perspectives. I wanted to be able to teach in a classroom as well. I think that knowing the different opportunities and paths of other educators helped me to make my own decision. I think that part of finding a career path is about listening to your strengths as an educator and channeling those into a field that you can help.
Q: What do you do when you’re not educating?
I have been working on trying to create more art. I am also trying to get back to my roots and write. I was recently home and found my college essays. I remember the experience of writing lines on a page and it was exhilarating. I am also trying to continuously study the subject matter at the Rubin Museum of Art. Cooking while listening to This American Life is more the reality of what happens when I get home.