Gallery Coordinator Interested in the Arts

Camille Parente is the financial analyst / gallery coordinator for the Center for the Arts.
Posted 05/28/06
Q: Camille, what year did you come to Wesleyan?

A: Originally, I came to Wesleyan in 1999, and I was as an administrative assistant for the Office of University Communications. One of my key responsibilities was to oversee the production of the Wesleyan Weekly, when there still was a printed version of the events on campus. I later transferred to the Center for the Arts office.

Q: You were recently promoted to be the CFA’s financial analyst and gallery coordinator. What is involved in your new position?

A: My position had evolved over the last several years in both its responsibilities and complexity. It involves much more budget management, forecasting and financial analysis. I will also act as the financial consultant to the financial coordinator of the Green Street Arts Center.

Q: What gallery do you coordinate? And how does this overlap with Nina Felshin’s role, if any?

A: I’ll be working with the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery exhibits. Nina is the curator of exhibitions. She works directly with the artists and plans the exhibitions. I am in charge of managing the operations of the gallery which involves overseeing all activities in the gallery, including staffing, scheduling and general oversight. I work with Nina on the gallery budget management as well.

Q: What are your personal interests in the arts?

A: I have always enjoyed both the visual arts and the performing arts. I admire the traditional masters as well as more contemporary artists. There is so much inspiration in their work. I love going to galleries and museums and being overwhelmed by the art.
I am a big fan of photography. I also enjoy watching dancers, musicians and actors perform. Anyone who has talent that I don’t, I admire.

Q: I understand you are a GLSP student. What have been some of your favorite classes, and are you taking any this summer?

A: I have to say that I’ve enjoyed all of the GLSP classes that I’ve taken. I especially enjoyed the portrait photography course with Marion Belanger. I was able to take chances with my work and explore new techniques. This summer, I plan to take The Cinema of Pedro Almodóvar and Black and White Photography: Art and Technique. I chose the ARTS as my focus in GLSP since the possibilities are endless.

Q: Who are the key people you work with at the CFA, and do you feel it is beneficial to be immersed in the arts all day?

A: I have the opportunity to work with really wonderful hard-working people. Much of our work requires a collaborative effort and we work well as a team. I think that certain environments are more productive than others. Being immersed in the arts is both very rewarding and interesting as well. It is so culturally rich. A creative environment seems to suit my personality.

Q: What goes on during the day?

A: There is a lot of paperwork and financial reporting that is involved in the job. I often have to meet with Pam Tatge for our budget reviews as well as our financial planning. I am on the Financial Managers’ Committee as well. The heaviest concentration of my work done is on the computer. I think that Wesleyan is a great place to work.

Q: How is your job challenging or rewarding?

A: I really enjoy working in such a creative environment. There is talent all around me, both in visual and performing arts. We at the CFA have a very busy schedule year round. Multi-tasking is key. Making sure everything gets done well and on time is sometimes challenging. If I could have a just a few more hours in the day, I’d be all set.

Q: Where did you go to college and what did you major in? When will you finish your master’s of arts in liberal studies?

A: I went to the University of Connecticut and I majored in occupational and environmental health and safety. I will complete my master’s of arts in liberal studies in spring 2007.

Q: What are your hobbies and interests?

A: I really love photography and I am still in the process of learning. There are so many options available and I continuing to explore new techniques to really try to expand my own work.

Q: What is something unique about you?

A: It’s hard to narrow it down. I prefer to think of my idiosyncrasies as what make me unique. I’ll say that my uncanny ability to memorize song lyrics is unique. I know all lyrics to all types of music, from the time I was growing up to now as an adult I am generally a private person, but I will say that I am engaged and we have three cats, or as I usually refer to them, three furry children. Since I am taking two GLSP courses this summer, I will most likely be enjoying weekend day trips to the beach to allow myself enough time to study.

By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor