One week into her first co-op at Northeastern, Jacqueline Ferrante knew she’d chosen the perfect one for her. In fact, she already had a strong feeling that it was what she’d been looking for in a career.
It was January 2011, and Ferrante, AMD’13, was beginning her co-op as operations design manager at Northeastern’s Gallery 360. She was an artist herself, but this was her first time working on the managerial side of the industry. Her job involved overseeing the gallery’s staff and working closely with artists to make sure the exhibitions ran smoothly.
“I recall being pretty nervous because I wasn’t really used to managing,” said Ferrante, whose co-op also included overseeing the information desk staff at the Curry Student Center. “But after the first week, I loved it so much and I could see myself doing that kind of a job every day. It’s weird how my first co-op made me feel like this was exactly what I wanted to do.”
Co-op experience in action
Ferrante earned a bachelor’s degree in art and now resides in New York City, where she is associate director at A.I.R. Gallery in Brooklyn and continuing to live out her dream that began on co-op. After college she moved back home to Long Island and took three simultaneous internships at different art galleries. One of them was at A.I.R., where she ultimately landed a full-time gallery assistant position. Last summer she was promoted to her current role.
“I’m organized and I’m a really strong multi-tasker, thanks in large part to my co-op at Gallery 360,” she said. “Here at the gallery in Brooklyn, I have a million things to do all the time, and it’s been really helpful to have that experience knowing I can focus on a few minor tasks, get those done, and get straight to the important tasks.”
Now she’s curating a Gallery 360 show
When Ferrante was on co-op at Gallery 360, she never envisioned curating a show of her own there. But that’s exactly what’s happening now. Her new show, titled “Stratum” and open until mid-September, features the work of four New York artists—including Ferrante—who “explore the impact of color, layering, and visual abstractness within their works.”
As Ferrante put it, “I’m interested in texture, color, and the natural decay of things, and that’s what my paintings are about.” In fact, a series of four paintings in the show are pieces she completed while on a Dialogue of Civilizations program in Ireland at Burren College of Art, where she and her fellow student artists immersed themselves in the local culture.
Another artist in the show, Laura Petrovich-Cheney, designed several pieces featuring discarded wood that she collects, cuts up, and then pieces together into what Ferrante described as “sculptural paintings.” The other two artists featured in the exhibit are Rhia Hurt and Ann Schaumburger.
Ferrante said it’s been a thrill to lead the direction of the show, work closely with the other three artists, and collaborate with Bruce Ployer, Northeastern’s campus curator who oversees Gallery 360.
“When you get all the work and it comes together, it’s just so exciting,” she said.
Stratum presents diverse approaches to abstract visualization by experimenting with color placement, collage texture, and functions to psychologically take the viewer back to the foundations of art making.