Farshid Bazmandegan ’16

Promotion Specialist and Artist at The Division of Arts & Humanities | Majored in Visual Arts | fbazmand@ucsd.edu

Where do you work and what do you do?

I am a Promotion Specialist and Artist at the Dean’s office of the Division of Arts and Humanities which supports the Dean Office’s initiatives as well as the History, Literature, Music, Philosophy, Theatre & Dance, and Visual Arts departments. I am in charge of media production efforts, such as video, photography, and graphic design to support the Division events, programs, and research. I also help to coordinate student activities and promotional programs for the Division, to highlight faculty, student, and alumni related events.

What do you like most about your job?

What’s most interesting for me about my job is turning from a student employee at the Division to a full time staff member after graduation, and being an Alumni from the Division from which I graduated. I also get the opportunity to get to work with Dean Cristina Della Coletta, Assistant Dean Alma Palazzolo, and all the other talented staff and scholars in the office. In addition to my regular work responsibilities, I’m also in charge of an ongoing series of exhibitions, which I have been creating since I was an undergraduate. This project is based off the idea of using the academic administration space as a place for showing conceptual art, and engaging with audiences outside of a traditional gallery context, featuring Visual Arts professors, alumni, and students. The momentum of this project was started with the support of Dean Cristina Della Coletta, who provided the Division’s office space for the first exhibition of this series called Chroma, and continued to support the series with the second exhibition called Mint, held at the office of the Dean of the Graduate Division. The next featured exhibitions will be held at the Dean of Engineering’s office and the Executive Vice Chancellor’s office, which allows me to continue my practice as a visual artist and cultural producer working with the community.

2-Mint Exhibition
Dean Pisano, Executive Vice Chancellor Simmons, Dean Pogliano, and I at the closing reception of the group art exhibition Mint, supported by Dean Pogliano and Dean Della Coletta.

An exciting recent involvement I had was the opportunity to work directly with Cristina Della Coletta’s interdisciplinary research project Turin 1911 , which I’m helping as a multi-media research assistant. I’m making a documentary about this project, and all the interdisciplinary collaborations between the Division, CHEI, and colleagues at Turin Polytechnic University. I traveled to Turin, Italy in December to record research and collect data from the Borgo Medievale, the site of the Italian World Fair in 1911, and the subject of Dean Coletta’s research.

3-Turin 1911 Project
Image of Dean Cristina Della Coletta with a team of colleagues and researchers collaborating on Turin 1911 project in Turin, Italy

What has your career path been like?

During my time at UC San Diego, I got several work opportunities related to the arts. I started as a student worker at the Visual Arts Department creating and operating the Photography dark room with Professor Brian Cross. I was also working a short time at the Media Lab checking out equipment to students as a Media Equipment Tech, and also became involved with the Stuart Collection as a Preparator Assistant for the Wind Garden project. In my final year of undergrad, I got an internship opportunity to work with the Division of Arts and Humanities, which led to my current full time position. In terms of my future career goals, since I’m a first generation college graduate, continuing my higher education is very important to me. I’m planning to pursue a graduate degree while I’m working, and continuing my practice as a visual artist. I’m interested in a position that involves teaching and working with the academic administration and the community.

What else did you do as a student? 

In my second quarter as a transfer student, I started making an art community on campus called Triton Art, which was a student driven academic organization with the goal of creating a space for UC San Diego artists to develop their practice. In the past 3 years, I have organized over 50 workshops, events, and exhibitions where I have served over 500 hours of community service while I was a student. This has shaped my unique experience with the art community and helped me understand my own practice with social engagement.

4-Triton Art Workshop
UC San Diego undergraduate students at the Triton Art Zine Workshop

What is your most memorable moment as a student?

As a student, I had the opportunity to create an additional venue at the Visual Art Facility, called Triton Art Gallery, for undergraduate students to showcase their art. The gallery has supported over ten undergraduate solo and group exhibitions in the space. My philosophy for these additional gallery was to motivate talented undergraduate students by helping them to have their first solo show. To be able to support and motivate other young artists in the community are among the most memorable moments
of my time at UC San Diego.

During my second year, I became the co-director of the student run Undergraduate Art Show Meeting at Square One in 2016 at the University Art Gallery, where we led an exhibition of over 28 undergraduate students whose works were presented in the gallery and organized related workshops.

5-University Art Gallery
Students attending an artists’ round table as a part of Meeting at Square One exhibition at the University Art Gallery

What resources did you use as a student? Did you ever utilize career related resources such as the career advisors or attend job fairs?

I believe that I took advantage of most of the resources available to me at UC San Diego, such as the Honors program, scholarships, and grants. I was awarded the Warren College Research scholarship, the Italo Scanga Memorial scholarship, the Hajim Family Alumni scholarship, the Visual Arts Class Project Grant, and the Russell Foundation grant for my long-term project Uprooted. I have participated in two UC San Diego conferences, such as the CRASSH conference and the CC2UCSD conference. I have attended several job fairs and talks organized by the Career Center, related to resume building, and alumni talks. I was also involved with organizing alumni talks with Roxanna Farkas from the Career
Center and Laura Martin from the Division of Arts and Humanities while I was a student.

As a student in the Visual Arts, having access to student gallery spaces and external UC San Diego opportunities allowed me to have solo and group shows where I could exhibit my work on and off campus in venues such as the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the University Art Gallery, the Adam D. Kamil Gallery, and the FHG.

6-Wishes Tree Project
My Wishes Tree project at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego

What’s one thing you wish you knew as an undergrad?

If I had extra time, I wish I was able to do more interdisciplinary projects with departments outside of visual arts, since UCSD is such a great platform for interdisciplinary practice.

 

What do you think is the most important quality or skill students should learn to prepare themselves for the transition into the workplace?

There’s skills which you cannot learn in the classroom, but you can learn from social engagement from working in groups with other students, such as leadership, being a team player as well as an individual contributor.

What advice do you have for students?

As a student, for sure take advantage of all your resources but also give back to the community by being involved. I think students have the power to start initiatives, no matter how big or small. They should bring new ideas or create a group on campus, which will teach you leadership, allow you to take risks, work with diverse groups, and find your people. The connections you can make in school at UC San Diego will be the key to unexpected opportunities well after graduation.

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