Hi there, I’m Lillie Wesley, I’m 18 and going to be a senior in high school. I moved to Colorado two years ago from across the pond in England, but I was born and raised in Tennessee. I love it here; the landscapes are breathtaking, the people I’ve met have always been friendly, and the weather changes every ten minutes before you can complain. I’m an art kid, I joke that it’s the only thing I’m good at. I have such a passion for it, creating it, critiquing it, analyzing it, and now curating it.

I became interested in curatorial work when I began exploring different career paths involving art. I used to think that the only career in art was freelancing. So, I started to investigate it deeper to assure me and my parents that I wouldn’t be a starving artist. This led me to curatorial work, which I didn’t know a thing about. Again, as my imagination likes to explore, I imagined high-class French museum caretakers who only drank wine for sustenance and dusted old priceless works of art. Again, I was very wrong. After doing more research, I became more interested and wanted to try it out.

Digital painting by Wesley feature a scenic nature view with farmhouses

This past January, I shadowed the Director & Curator of UNC Galleries, Pam Campanaro for the day and wanted to try more. So here I am, working as a volunteer at the UNC Galleries, a few days each week. I’ve been helping with installation for the upcoming exhibition at the gallery, Yucca Fountain, which is super cool, and I can’t wait until it opens on September 19th. I’ve learned that curatorial work involves a lot more than most people expect. This includes a lot of manual labor, like a lot. I’ve had more of a workout here than all last year, because I refuse to take any more gym. I’ve also helped with marketing Yucca Fountain, an element of gallery operations that is important to not just galleries and exhibits but to all artists. If people don’t know about your work, how are they going to see it?! Hanging art, a very important part of curating, also involves a lot of math, so much math. Setting up shows also involves a lot of design elements that also apply to art, the composition of the exhibition, how it flows for the audience, how the colors of different pieces work to complement and contrast one another. Yay! Design principles!

Another exciting thing happening is I’m going to Minneapolis but for art! I’m attending a two-week camp at Minneapolis College of Art and Design AKA MCAD for comic art. I’m super excited, college is on the horizon for me and I can’t wait to see what art college has to offer. I’ll be documenting the experience, so others can see if camps like these are right for them.