Kaitlyn Lucey ’20 Named 2018 Mount Vernon Leadership Fellow
Combining her interest in economics, arts, and accessibility, Kaitlyn Lucey ’20 will use a summer grant to create an action plan for 3D printing pieces from the Allen Memorial Art Museum.
Within Lucey’s first shift as a front desk attendant at the Allen Memorial Art Museum (AMAM), she noticed something that sparked an idea and came to shape her pre-professional and academic trajectory.
“When a fourth-grade school field trip came to the Allen, I noticed there was a visually impaired student trailing behind with a teacher’s aide, who was reading the wall text of the exhibition and trying to describe the objects in front of them,” recalls Lucey, who started working at the AMAM her first semester at Oberlin. “I remembered thinking there must be a better way of doing this. From then on, I started thinking about ways to make the Allen more accessible.”
Now, she will have the opportunity to draft a project proposal that focuses on how the AMAM can broaden its reach by creating 3D scans and prints of objects from its collection. As a Mount Vernon Leadership Fellow, Lucey will spend six weeks at George Washington’s former Virginia estate this summer crafting a roadmap to transform her vision into a reality. The highly selective institute encourages rising college juniors to examine their personal strengths, identify areas for growth, and ultimately take action as a leader while benefiting from the guidance of the program’s speakers and field trips.
By creating replicas of existing works that AMAM visitors can hold and feel, Lucey hopes that people will enjoy a more immersive experience and derive their own meaning from the art. She is currently working on a prototype with two other Oberlin students to recreate a 16th-century sculpture of Saint Sebastian, and co-taught an ExCo on accessibility in the arts last fall.
“One of the cornerstones of arts advocacy is that arts have a positive economic impact on its surrounding communities, and if you can increase that impact by making the arts more accessible to everyone then why not do it?” says Lucey, who is pursuing a degree in economics and arts management. “Oberlin having an ExCo program, such a strong commitment to social justice, and an amazing art museum has really made this a great place to start and work on this project in a unique way.”
After completing the Mount Vernon program in early July, Lucey will spend the remaining part of her summer interning with Jim Toth ’02 at Riverside Acceleration Capital, a venture capital subsidiary of The Riverside Company in New York City. She says that participating in the Business Scholars program in January allowed her to build relationships with industry professionals, including Toth, who taught her invaluable lessons about forging an innovative career path.
“It’ll be really interesting to see two sides of my academic interests come together this summer,” Lucey added. “Something I learned from Business Scholars is that it doesn’t have to be an ‘and/or.’ I don’t have to be interested in just the arts or just economics. I can definitely have both sides of that, and they are absolutely related.”