Lara Sofie Lejolle, Master’s Degree student in Arts and Cultural Management at UIC Barcelona, is an Austrian art historian who has worked in the art gallery field as a researcher, inventory organizer and event assistant. During her stay in Barcelona, her internship experience took place in Artur Ramon Art, one of the oldest galleries in Barcelona.
How was the internship experience at Artur Ramon Art? What was your position?
My experience was overall very positive and I enjoyed my time at Artur Ramon Art. My main job was to assist in important tasks such as writing texts about the art pieces they took to TEFAF, in Maastricht. I also helped with administrative tasks like updating the database and making inventory.
Your resume says that you have worked in art galleries in the past. What differences do you see between a Spanish art gallery and an Austrian one? Does cultural management work differently?
It is hard to describe the difference between them, I guess the main difference is just that Austria and Spain inherently have two contrasting cultures which automatically make the cultural management non-identical. I believe the cultural management style in Spain is a bit more democratic and focuses on the interpersonal relationships between the manager and the employees. But also, each manager is different so it is hard to point out the discrepancies. Typically in Austria, I perceived the cultural management to be more authoritarian than democratic.
What do you like most about working in art galleries? When did you discover that you liked it?
I’ve been always curious about working in an art gallery ever since I started studying art history. I wanted to combine the two things I like the most: art history and people. I thought it would be a good idea to do my first internship in this field, and it turned out to be an amazing experience. I love being in contact with art but also with the people who share a passion for it.
What is the artistic period that you like the most? Would you like to curate an exhibition?
Answering this question is like looking for a needle in a haystack, to be honest. Originally, I fell in love with art in my hometown, Vienna, where the period called “Jugendstil” –Gustav Klimt or Otto Wagner– is very prominent. I feel very close to this period because it surrounded me while growing up in Austria. Generally, I would be really interested in curating an exhibition, it is one of the things I am interested in the future.
What made you consider study the Arts and Cultural Management Master’s Degree at UIC Barcelona?
I was looking for a MA in Europe that would last for a year because I felt ready to start my professional career sooner than later. I felt the program of UIC appealed to me because of the mandatory internship, crucial to succeed in this field, and the international teachers.
What have you liked the most about the Arts and Cultural Management Master’s Degree?
Although I’m not done yet, overall I have had a great experience here at UIC. What I loved most about the course were my classmates, everyone comes from different countries and cultures and it was very exciting. Most of all, I love my classmates because everyone is so nice, welcoming, and open-hearted. Also, I enjoyed that the teachers were really caring and were invested in us as a class and as individuals. They all had a practical experience which positively impacted my learning experience at UIC.
What do you want to do after finishing this master’s degree? Do you plan on returning to Austria?
I plan on finding a job in a gallery, although I don’t know where exactly. I am also interested in working and living in other countries other than Austria, so I haven’t settled yet. The good thing is that after my time in Barcelona and experiencing the excitement of moving to another country, I feel like I can conquer any city in the future.