Latent Emissions, Chakaia Booker
“Art. It’s one of the ways I understand what’s going on in the world.”
We recently had the pleasure to sit down with Friends of the Snite Museum board member, Theresa Nucciarone, who is currently serving in her third year on the board. From the South Bend area, Theresa graduated from Saint Mary's College with a Bachelor’s degree in Studio Art. After graduation, Theresa purposefully explored the field of Art Education in various capacities including teaching elementary school programs and facilitating public programs at the Snite Museum of Art.
After some time exploring within the art professions, her interests honed toward International Education, an area where she is now pursuing her Master of Education in the International Higher Education Program with Loyola University Chicago. She also presently works in the Undergraduate Admissions Office at Notre Dame.
“I’m an educator, experienced in teaching, advising, as well as overseeing and facilitating programs. Enthusiastic about travel and experiential education, I’m always eager to converse with others about such opportunities. In particular, I enjoy presenting on and fostering relationships with students interested in study abroad.”
Theresa volunteers her time and energy at La Casa de Amistad on the West Side of South Bend. “I help tutor children in their afterschool program.” She also enjoys running for sport, and for a couple of years now has volunteered with the local chapter of Girls on the Run both as a Coach and Sparkle Runner.
Theresa’s lifelong interest of art, education, and community outreach made her a natural fit for our board, especially with the more youthful perspective she provides and voice she brings to the board.
“You’re sitting among these amazing sculptures, watching them moving in the wind. It’s really beautiful and a really nice experience, you can always take a break inside to see the artwork that they’ve paired with the message or theme or concepts that the musicians are working with. It gets you thinking about different types of art and how they related with one another.”
Theresa believes it is important to share and emphasize the all-inclusiveness of the Snite Museum. “For community visitors who aren’t affiliated with Notre Dame, and from a family perspective, people should know we frequently have programs available for the community at large, and a lot of those programs are family-based programs. Our Family Nights are some of the best nights and events and programs that we have for the community… The ambiance is wonderful and there are so many different people who come. Families who are interested in art. Everyone is welcome on those nights. Highly recommended because they’re so much fun.”
Once visited a time or two, explorers of the Snite Museum tend to be drawn to some natural favorites. When asked about some of her favorite aspects, Theresa enthusiastically shared that she loves “watching the George Rickey sculptures in the courtyard during the summer months when they move with the wind. They look very graceful.” She also expressed her enjoyment of the new way the African exhibit is now displayed, “I also truly appreciate the new interpretation of the African art collection. I think it is much more engaging and informative than it once was, and it has truly helped me appreciate and value African art objects much more.”
Theresa also shared, “One of my favorite sculptures of all time is The Laocoon (Marble. 1st century CE. Inv. No. 1059. Rome, Vatican Museums, Pio-Clementine Museum). We are so lucky to have a fantastic replica of it in our galleries. The original is one of the early sculptures that doesn’t rely so much on a pedestal to keep the form from breaking. What I love about it is how the myth is represented. There’s a lot of anguish that you’ll see, and that’s particularly representative in the movement of the piece, and that’s what the piece is really known for. It’s really a kind of groundbreaking depiction of strong energetic movement. It shows emotion and pain and strong emphasis on movement.
When asked about the role that art plays in her life, Theresa thoughtfully replied, “When I have conversations with people about politics and where we are in society and in the world today, I often say I don’t like watching the news as it is far too negative and sensationalized and doesn’t totally depict everyone’s reality. When I learn about contemporary issues going on in my community, regionally, in the United States or the world, it’s often through art. To me, art is conveying more truth than what I might see in a newspaper article because it’s a symbol of someone’s reality, and if that person made it because they were depicting their own reality, it’s probably a good guess that someone else is sharing that reality and that’s why artists are sharing it because they want you to know. It’s one of the ways I understand what’s going on in the world.”
We are grateful for Theresa’s service on the board and the experience, expertise and perspective she offers to help the Snite Museum flourish in our area and beyond.
Juliane Morris, Friends Board of Directors