Museum internships and gallery experiences during her graduate studies have paid off for alumna Ivy Bealyer (MA ’22), who took a position this year as Education Specialist at the Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg.
As a master’s student in the Museum & Cultural Heritage Studies (MCHS) program, Ivy centered her research around the impact of temporary exhibitions of modern and contemporary art. In her second year Ivy participated in the Ringling Course, a yearlong intensive internship at The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art, in which graduate students are exposed to every aspect of museum work.
At The Ringling, Ivy was mentored by Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art Ola Wlusek. Ivy assisted Ola with artist and collection-based research for the exhibition Reclaiming Home: Contemporary Seminole Art, which opened in March, 2023. Ivy participated in interviews with artists Jessica Osceola and Tony Tiger, and edited portions of the manuscript for the exhibition catalog.
Working on the exhibition was an ideal convergence of Ivy’s studies and professional experience: “At FSU one of my favorite courses was Dr. Dowell’s Contemporary Native American Art seminar. It was a wonderful coincidence that Ola Wlusek was working on an exhibition with Contemporary Native American artists. I felt like I had some much context and everything came full circle.”
Throughout her undergraduate and graduate studies, Ivy also interned remotely for five years with Miami-based art agency ArtRepublic Global, managing the agency’s online marketplace, drafting exhibition plans, assisting with program production, and traveling to art conferences in New York and exhibition openings in Miami.
At the MFA St. Petersburg, Ivy works at the intersection of executive administration and the education department. Her primary role is administration, based in the Director’s Office, supporting a re-accreditation effort which puts her in touch with all areas of the Museum. Ivy writes,
“A major theme in the MCHS program at FSU was the importance of integration and collaboration between departments in museums. This was also essential in the Ringling internship; we were able to participate in all aspects of museum operation and get an overview of how each department contributes to the whole institution. I’m excited to have a role that implements exactly these principles.”
Soon after she joined the museum, Ivy was able to travel to Chicago with a few members of the MFA team for EXPO CHICAGO. The international exposition of contemporary and modern art was held April 13-16, 2023. The Museum of Fine Arts was one of three institutions to receive the annual Northern Purchase Prize, awarding them the acquisition of a work of art of their choice from an emerging artist shown in the fair’s EXPOSURE Section. There the MFA announced the acquisition of Ahua Can by Claudia Peña Salinas.
The museum staff were also there to celebrate the second rendition of Gio Swaby’s solo exhibition Gio Swaby: Fresh Up, organized by the MFA St. Petersburg in collaboration with the Art Institute of Chicago. The exhibition, curated by Melinda Watt and Katherine Pill, was on view from May to October, 2022, in St. Petersburg before it was moved to Chicago.
“I’m so excited to be back in museums,” Ivy writes. “I received a broad range of experiences at FSU. Research and development are key components of public programming and I’ve taken those tools and thrown them back into museum education. Most of all I’m eager to learn the ins and outs of museum administration. It’s in the Director’s office that you actually understand the breadth of museum work, and honestly I’ve only touched the surface.”