NYAP STUDENT FEATURE — ELLY PASTOR

Elly Pastor is a Senior Art History major at OWu. My museum comrade, she’s interning at the Whitney this semester, while I, the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Working in a museum setting offers a wide variety of resources, this past week I had the chance to talk to Elly about those resources.
Carianna Arredondo: So we usually start with a little bit about your background and upbringings and how you came to making the decision to live in New York for a semester. What’s your story?
Elly Pastor: I was born in Cleveland, OH and moved a lot until we ended up in Louisville, KY. I’ve spent the last ten years there and I absolutely love it. I’ve always been interested in the arts and I have tried a lot of different forms and have been trying to decide what to devote my time and future to. Coming to New York has definitely helped that. I ended up coming here because I was told about the Program when I interviewed at Ohio Wesleyan University and I stressed that I was interested in the arts. I am now a senior at OWU (pronounced OH-WOO) and going to my school has made all the difference, it’s a wonderful place. I’m an Art History major there and I’ve always had a dream to work in a museum. I never knew how to get there and the NYAP was a stepping stone i couldn’t pass up.

CA: What types of tasks and work do you do at the Whitney?

CA: I’m am the Rights and Reproductions Intern for The Whitney Museum of American Art. I work in an off-site office pretty close to our house and I do lots of archiving type work. I’m not treated at all like a typical intern, which is nice. I have my own desk, I don’t get asked to get people coffee and everyone is very nice. Rights and Reproductions is an important side of every museum that before I came here, I knew nothing about. They handle all of the images of all of the works in their permanent collection. For example, if you want to use an image of Edward Hopper’s Soir Bleu in a magazine or book, you would call them, pay them royalties, and they would send you a quality, print-worthy image of the work. It’s an important system that helps artists and their estates get credit for their work being reproduced. It’s also very complicated and I have a lot more to learn, but it’s interesting. I have been keeping track of publications that we receive that contain work owned by the Whitney, I labeled and organized lot of old image CDs, and my major project has been going through old installation photographs and their negatives from exhibitions in the 1980’s and I’m identifying work and labeling the negatives and folders for the future. I really like that project because it involves research and I’ve learned so much about the artists of the Whitney collection. I’ve also been to the museum a few times to create maps of the current exhibitions for their archives.

CA: What are you expecting to get out of your time here in the city?

EP: Well I already have an appreciation of the city and the commitment and hard work it takes to be here. I honestly didn’t know what I expected. It all seemed magical before I got here. I have certainly learned a lot and I’ve gotten a lot of knowledge out of it. I’ve learned the city isn’t for me, but the art world certainly is.

CA: Although you’ve decided New York isn’t your destiny, what are your top spots to visit?

EP: Museums really are my thing. Because I work at the Whitney I have the amazing perk of getting into all of the major museums in NYC for free. It has saved me so much money and given me so much happiness. Although they get very crowded, during the week days there is some downtime. My work is always so quiet and that is so nice, so I listen to a lot of NPR while there and while walking around, I’ve learned a lot and it’s a way to stay current on things. I haven’t found too many places to unwind, but I did go to the Lincoln Center theatre to see a movie by myself, it was the nicest movie theatre I’ve ever been in and it was such a treat.

CA: If you could give any advice to someone thinking about participating in the NYAP what would you tell them?

EP: Visit the city first and see if it’s right for you, but don’t over think it. It’s a lot of hard work, but you will learn a lot about yourself and other people while you are here and it is really worth it.

CA: Most definitely, thanks for your time Elly!

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