Hello! I am Heather D'Andrea and a new MAAE student at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago! I was born and raised in sunny South Florida. An odd fact about me is that even though I lived my first 18 years in a place that was considered freezing when it fell below 80 degrees I absolutely hate hot weather! I am not a fan of scorching hot summer days, but I am also not a huge fan of the freezing cold either so I guess I'm just picky. I moved to Knoxville, Tennessee at 18 to go to college at the University of Tennessee where I earned my bachelors degree. Upon moving to Tennessee I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with my life and I was one of those annoying students who ran to my advisor changing my major monthly for a while. I always wanted to pursue fashion design, but UT did not offer that as a program, so after switching from public relations to graphic design to advertising to communications to studio art to costume design to anthropology to journalism I met with an advisor who finally told me to design my own curriculum and take the classes I felt would help me with my goals. I did just that and started with Art History, and I absolutely fell in love and found something I never wanted to stop learning about. I was hooked from then on and knew art history was what I wanted to study and pursue. I ended up getting very interested in the depiction of outsiders in the history of art (special thanks to some awesome professors who pushed me and helped me find what I really enjoyed). I ended up writing my thesis on the depiction of prostitutes in 19th and 20th century art, specifically comparing the photographs of E. J. Bellocq to examples in painting from Manet to Picasso. I was very torn on what I wanted to do after graduating, I knew I wanted to stick with art history in some way, but I wasn't sure how. Then the summer before graduation I took a museum studies class, which opened me up to the wonderful world of museums and from that moment on I knew that art museum education was where I wanted to go. I started applying for grad school in museum education, art education, visual culture education, etc. and ended up choosing SAIC for grad school. I am super excited to be here and loving every minute of my new life in Chicago!
Well that's enough rambling for now!