Staff Spotlight: Caitlin Vitalo
How long have you been with HAM?
A little over a year.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
I really enjoy the Young Artist Showcase – meeting all the teachers from the local schools and seeing all of the artwork from their students. Leading installations for the showcase every two weeks I am able to spend a lot of time with each student’s artwork – I truly enjoy opening up the teacher’s portfolios on Monday mornings to reveal their students’ masterpieces.
Also, just being on the fourth floor where all our classes happen is enjoyable. It’s nice to be a part of the art community in Hunterdon County and play such an active role in helping facilitate the classes they participate in. Every class is like a micro-environment and I can hear their voices carry into the education office – some classes are very serious and technical, others I can hear constantly laughing with each other.
A particular favorite (when I’m working late) is the “oh wows” that come out of the children’s Art + Science = Fun class as they create plasma, inspect DNA, and create crystals.
What’s your favorite work in our collections right now?
It’s hard to pick a favorite but if I had to it would be Jacobo Alonso‘s piece in the Felt Exhibition. His work is really interesting and I love the way he’s using a craft-based material with the more computer-based programs of 3-d modeling and laser cutting all while interrogating the representation of bodies through a historic lens.
What do you like to do when you’re not at the museum?
So much! I never stop working. I’m curating an upcoming exhibition in glass at the Hunterdon Art Museum so a lot of my time is devoted to that at the moment. I’m also an artist myself – a glassblower with a recent MFA in glass so I’m busy making my own art and installing in shows in the area. (Visit Caitlin’s website here.)
I’m also on the board of directors of an international glass arts organization – that comes with a lot of work and late-night meetings when my day at the museum is over. I’m also a hiker! Hiking is my absolute favorite thing in the world (besides my cat). I recently hiked through Chilean Patagonia on New Years and am planning a trip to hike through the Swiss Alps soon.
What topic would you like to see addressed through curation?
The topics are unending – nothing in particular. I think it’s important for curated shows to present a variety of artwork that points out things that aren’t obvious to everyone.
That’s the power of art – it’s able to communicate things that our words cannot.
Anything else you’d like people to know about you or HAM?
HAM is a great place to work and make art. I feel like I’ve covered so much already. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone back at the museum when we have recovered from this.