Alli Steinberg ’19 explored art and found community at Brandeis

Alli Steinberg seated behind a small model used for art gallery curation

Growing up in Jacksonville, Florida, Alli Steinberg ’19 always felt a little out of place.

Her high school was all about football and cheerleading, and she wasn’t interested in that scene.

“I was looking to explore a life outside of this environment,” she said.

Then she came to Brandeis.

“Pretty immediately I felt comfortable here. I always felt welcomed and like there was a place for me on this campus,” she said. "I hadn't felt that way at school before."

Steinberg is an art history and business double major who has worked at the Rose Art Museum during each of her four years on campus, as a gallery guide and a curatorial intern. She took some time to answer questions with BrandeisNOW:

How did you get to Brandeis? What was the journey that brought you here?

It was really important for me to be around a big city. I always knew that I wanted to study art in some way, but I didn't know exactly how. I wanted be able to take advantage of the resources that are in the city, like access to amazing museums and galleries.

I was drawn to New England just because my parents are from this area and I just was familiar with it. I really liked Brandeis in particular because of its emphasis on community - and I liked that there was an art museum on campus. I also liked that it is really close to Boston without needing to commit to being downtown all the time. It has that campus feel.

What's your favorite class that you've taken?

One class that I keep thinking about is Influence, Power and Identity with Sandra Cha at Brandeis IBS. It gave me the tools to navigate any negotiation situation. The skills I learned are transferable to both professional and social environments. I got a better understanding of how to approach situations that I wouldn’t have previously known how to navigate.

Is there a professor or instructor who has had a particularly profound influence on you?

I don’t know if I could nail it down to one person. So many people have guided me in different ways. My thesis advisor Peter Kalb has pushed me to approach art with a rigor and passion that I’ve always had but I’d never tapped into in this capacity before. Caitlin Rubin (assistant curator at the Rose Art Museum) has an ability to convey information about shows that is fascinating to me. She has this ease and grace that’s so admirable. I hope to be able to do that myself someday.

Do you have a favorite accomplishment outside the classroom?

I was able to go abroad twice through the Brandeis in Copenhagen and Brandeis in Siena programs. For me, achieving that level of independence was something to be really proud of. And to not only to be independent, but to pursue something I was passionate about. While I was abroad I was studying art by going to museums and seeing the works in person. When I was in Siena, we traveled to the 2017 Venice Biennale. It gave me the opportunity to experience an expansive breadth of art styles and medias I was not previously exposed to in the US. Discovering and engaging with these works and artists gave me a new perspective and reinvigorated my love of art.

Categories: Arts, International Affairs, Student Life

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