As you may know summer is a bit slower for CIMA, our spaces are closed and we take time to prepare for the upcoming season and to do maintenance. This season we have only one intern: learn more about JD Calvelli by reading this blog post.
How did you first become interested in art history?
My parents are huge Italophiles. They both came from immigrant Italian families, and grew up in environments that fostered their own continued cultural connections to their Italian heritage. They successfully passed that connection on to me through various methods, not the least of which were teaching me to speak Italian, keeping me close to my immigrant grandparents, and often bringing me down to the MET. And every time we went, we would beeline straight to the Ancient Mediterranian exhibits. I must have seen the Temple of Dendur hundreds of times, but every time I was equally struck by its grandeur. My high school’s proximity to the MET allowed for continued trips, and I began to venture outside of the realm of the familiar into my artistic unknown. It was absolutely equally grand. I was inspired to take Art History, was exposed to the world of Modern Art, and through dissecting Duchamp’s Fountain in class, became fully engrossed. I was inspired by art’s ability to be socially and politically salient, and to this day, as I concentrate in Political Theory, I continue to watch the art world for its unique lessons.
Best 3 museums or art sites worldwide, according to your taste?
I truly think it’s impossible for me to pick three museums, so I’ll limit myself to some of my favorite places in three regions! In New York, of course I’m partial to the MET, but I also love the MoMA but, as a Modern Culture and Media concentrator in addition to Political Theory, I find myself returning the most to the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria.
Throughout the rest of the United States, I’d have to say the Newseum in Washington, D.C. and the Musee Mecanique in San Francisco, one of the world’s largest collections of coin-operated entertainment platforms, antique to modern.
Abroad, definitely the Tate Museum in London — it has a replica of the Fountain, the original of which has been unfortunately lost to time — and the Villa Borghese in Rome.
What do you like to do when you are not working?
I can often be found reading the news or the occasional political treatise, and conversing about politics with friends and family. I love to perform, either in a theatre production or with my collegiate acapella group, The Brown Derbies. I enjoy composing and producing my own music as well, under the alias pk.l (pronounced ‘pickle’ — the pet name my mother gave me as a child!). I also love to write: articles, opinion pieces, screenplays, stageplays, video game scripts…So, I’m currently a Staff Writer and the Multimedia Director for B-Side Magazine, Brown University’s music publication, and a contributor to the BPR, Brown Political Review.
What do you hope to gain from this experience at CIMA, what are the things that you are most looking forward to?
I’m most looking forward to being in an environment that constantly exposes me to the art world, and I’m glad to be able to experience a rekindling of the magic that I felt in high school Art History simply by being here! I’m excited to be exposed to the other side of visuality through art. I study a lot of films and digital media, but I don’t really get the opportunity to study traditional art too often, so I’ll be sure to take advantage as much as I can while I’m here. I’m also grateful for the opportunity to see how a non profit cultural institution runs behind the scenes, and for the opportunity to help support an institution that positively promotes Italian culture and identity in the modern day. And finally, and perhaps most importantly, to have an excuse to practice my Italian again! Grazie mille per l’opportunità qui a CIMA, sono sicuro che non la dimenticherò mai!