An International Education that Started at MCLA

March 13, 2019

Lara Dudley

Lara Dudley ’19 in Chefchaouen, Morocco’s “blue city.”

During her MCLA career, arts management major Lara Dudley ’19 of Westford, Mass., took a travel study course that culminated with a once-in-a-lifetime journey to Peru, studied abroad for a semester in Barcelona, Spain – which included trips to Morocco and France, including a visit to the Louvre Museum, in Paris.

She also served an internship at the world-renowned Clark Art Institute in nearby Williamstown, Mass., all on her way to a career as a specialist in museum education. Her position as a gallery interpreter allowed Dudley to learn more about the inner workings of museums. It also is where she discovered that she wants to specialize in museum education.

During her first two weeks at The Clark last summer, Dudley researched and created her own interpretations and talks about the museum’s permanent collection, the “Women Artists in Paris 1850-1900” exhibition, and artist Jennifer Steinkamp’s “Blind Eye” video installation.

“The third week, I started to lead tour groups, and delivered my own work-shopped and supervisor-approved talks. Each day, I led two tours in the permanent collection and one in the Women Artists exhibition. Twice a week, I gave an additional tour through the Blind Eye exhibit,” Dudley explained.

“My title was gallery interpreter because I did not just give out information like a lecturer,” she continued. “I added context and created connections between the art and the museum’s guests. I was interpreting the pieces of art and encouraging the visitors to do the same.”

The best part of this opportunity at The Clark, Dudley said, was the people she worked with. “I had so many questions, not just about my job, but about museum education and the broader museum industry,” she said. “Everyone was willing to speak with me.”

After she graduates this May, Dudley hopes to work in the education department of an art museum, before heading to graduate school for a master’s degree.