Campus News

Who is Andre Sepetavec?

September 30, 2021

Yvonne Gay

A portrait of aman leaning against a window seal.
Andre Sepetavec, chief preparator at the Allen Memorial Art Museum.
Photo credit: Tanya Rosen-Jones '97

To do the type of work Andre Sepetavec does, one has to be detail oriented with talent as a builder, sculptor, welder, and designer. Knowledge of art history also helps. Learn more about Sepetavec in this installment of Who Am I? 

Full Name: Andre Anthony Sepetavec

Department and location on campus: Allen Memorial Art Museum

Job title: Chief Preparator

What does your job entail? I handle and install the art, prepare the galleries, and make crates, mounts and casework.

How many years at Oberlin? Almost two

What do you like most about your work? No two days are the same at the Allen. One day I’m crating a Picasso and the next I’m making picture frames.

Do you have a favorite exhibit (past or present) that you had a role in? I once installed a Sal Scarpitta retrospective in North Carolina. It was the first time I worked with a renowned artist. He was kind and great to work with and had many interesting stories. The centerpiece of the exhibit was a 20’ x 20’ work “created by God” (his description), presented by Sal and installed by me in a three-story atrium.

Do you make art yourself? I turn wooden bowls and sometimes make assemblages in shadow boxes. 

Have you always wanted a career as a preparator of art? I wanted to be an archaeologist but I’m not disappointed.

For students who would like a career in this field, what should they do to pursue it? To do this type of work, one has to be detail oriented with talent as a builder, sculptor, welder and designer. Knowledge of art history also helps.    

Favorite artist? Edward Kienholz

Favorite art piece? Diego Rivera’s Detroit Industry Murals at the Detroit Institute of Arts

Favorite museum (outside of Oberlin)? Jheronimus Bosch Art Center in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands

Oftentimes, when I walk through an art museum, it feels truly alive. What is the experience like for you? When I visit a museum, unfortunately, I always focus on what supports / suspends the art or what materials and hardware were used. I’m always looking for a better technique but eventually I will notice the art.  

Favorite place in Oberlin and why? My favorite place is the King Sculpture Court balcony for the best views in the museum.  

Favorite childhood memory? Meeting my paternal grandparents for the first time when I was 7 at the Ljubljana airport.

Favorite movie? Hoodwinked 

Hobbies? Pedaling, camping, cooking, and woodworking

Favorite food? Cassoulet

Favorite Quote or personal philosophy? “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever,” by Mahatma Gandhi.


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