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Art was always important to me growing up. My mom works in the arts as a choreographer, and she has been my most important role model and encourager for pursuing a creative career. I did a lot of visual arts in high school, and luckily, still got to paint while at Duke. I took a portrait painting class with Beverly McIver, and it was the best way to enjoy my spring semester of senior year!

Janie Booth, Duke Class of 2019
Photo of Janie Booth by J Caldwell.

I came to Duke knowing I wanted to get involved at the Nasher. I had visited it during Blue Devil Days and really enjoyed my time seeing the museum. I took an art history class my second semester and immediately connected with the small program and great professors. My sophomore year, the new Museum Theory & Practice concentration was announced, and I knew it was something that would allow me to try out museum work as a potential career after college. I have been so lucky to learn from the staff at the Nasher through this Concentration: the curatorial practicum working on Courtside with Molly Boarati, learning the history of curatorial practice from Marshall N. Price, and researching the collection as part of Julia McHugh’s class. I also completed a minor in chemistry because I’m especially interested in conservation.

My favorite class was the Curatorial Practicum working on Courtside: Photographs by Bill Bamberger, which was on view in Spring 2018 in the Incubator, part of The Collection Galleries. From that experience, I learned so much about curating and I also got to work alongside three awesome student co-curators. We got hands-on experience with selecting, framing and installing the incredible photographs by Bill Bamberger, as well as organizing public programs and leading tours. My favorite Duke memory was when my friends and family were all at the Courtside opening—a day I will always treasure!

I was lucky enough to spend a summer working in Cape Town, South Africa, through a DukeEngage program focused on social justice and human rights. It was my first time living outside of North Carolina, where I’m from. I realized how much there is to learn when you leave the place you grew up! I experienced so many new things—museums, foods, hiking—and learned a lot about myself. I came back from that trip wanting to combine my interests in art history and museum work with a passion for social justice.

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