“I think what is so special about Austin Peay is the number of opportunities you are given. There are so many things I’ve done here that I would have never thought I would be able to.”
Major: Graphic Design
Graduation Year: 2022
Campus Involvement: Governor’s Own Marching Band
Hometown: Clarksville, Tennessee
You never know what you’re going to discover at Austin Peay. Graphic design major and APSU Hazel Smith Summer Research Fellow recipient Katie Boyer has quite the story.
Boyer recently completed her fellowship with APSU’s Art + Design this past summer. In the fellowship, Boyer worked directly with gallery director, Michael Dickins and learn what it’s like to work in an art gallery.
“I worked with Austin Peay’s permanent art collection. I did a lot of photographing artworks and putting those works into our database. I also framed a lot of pieces totaling 150 works,” Boyer said. “I also got to help laying out the design of the first show we had in the fall.”
Most everything Boyer did weren’t things a typical college student would get to do in their semester.
“I think what is so special about Austin Peay is the number of opportunities you are given. There are so many things I’ve done here that I would have never thought I would be able to,” Boyer said.
During Boyer’s fellowship, she discovered some interesting artwork. The findings included an Ansel Adams photograph that hadn’t been seen on campus, a portrait of a freckled girl captured by French photographer Michel Thersiquel and 18 photos taken at a Canadian rodeo in 1978 captured by fashion, celebrity and art photographer, Albert Watson.
Boyer describes the discovery as “incredible” and feels humbled by the experience.
Boyer and Dickins found a box of Watson’s photographs in a storage space in the gallery that was unmarked. After digging through the internet, the two found Watson’s website. After reaching out to his studio and contacting his son, they were able to talk with his son about his work.
“The whole experience was incredibly cool. Watson has done countless numbers of Vogue covers and Rolling Stones covers,” Boyer said. “Watson is currently one of the most renowned fashion photographers of our time, so that was so cool.”
Now, Boyer serves as the chief gallery assistant with APSU’s Art + Design. Boyer handles hanging artwork, designing shows in the gallery, entering database entries and sifting through the APSU Art + Design collection.
Though Boyer is a graphic design major, her experience through her fellowship has opened her mind to a new line of work.
“It was through my research fellow this summer that I realized I wanted to get into gallery work, or maybe curating work at a museum,” Boyer said.
Boyer has learned many things during her experience, but one thing resonated with her.
“If you like something and you find it interesting, take it and run with it and don’t be afraid to dive deeper,” Boyer said.
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