Alumni News

Driven by a desire to study Renaissance art on site, in August 2006 I moved to Italy, where I enrolled at The Institute at Palazzo Rucellai (as ISI Florence was called at the time). There I took courses in Italian language, Renaissance architecture, music, literature, and art during the 2006 Fall Semester and the 2007 Spring Semester. In addition to strengthening my sense of independence and adaptability, this year abroad solidified my intent to pursue a career in the arts. Upon my return to UCLA, I started an internship at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Once I graduated, I temporarily worked at a contemporary art gallery in Santa Monica and then began working for a major art collector in Los Angeles, where I launched my multifaceted career as art collection manager.

In reflecting on the most defining experiences in my life thus far, I would count my year at ISI Florence as one of the most significant. Not only did I have the opportunity to live and study a stone’s throw from some of the most amazing art in the world. The Institute also arranged many trips and activities, so I was able to travel and get to know fellow classmates and local Italians. The quality of the academic program at ISI Florence was excellent and the warm, supportive environment made the transition to living abroad much easier.

Through my art career I seek to impart to others the connection I felt when I visited the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, climbed the stairs of the Duomo in Florence, or walked through the Galleria dell’Accademia. I would recommend this program for anyone who seeks a life-changing experience.

Meredith Gaber