Cecilia Charlton ‘09 is the Head Technician at Hales Gallery in London. She installs artwork for client viewings and exhibitions and assists with the packaging of the artwork for transit and storage – a job typically given to men.
“There are not many women who get the opportunity to work as art technicians, which is a problem because it’s one of the few roles that is well-paid, part-time, and in the arts,” said Cecilia. “Those perks are essential for emerging artists who need money, time, and relevant experience in order to maintain their studio practice.”
As the Head Technician, Cecilia offers technician experience to other female artists. This also gives her the opportunity to help support their emerging careers.
Along with being able to promote artists, Cecilia enjoys the hands-on aspect of her job at Hales Gallery.
“As a handler I am able to see amazing artworks and it’s something I would not be able to experience if I were sitting at a desk for a majority of the day,” she said.
Her longing for a hands-on art career brought her to the UK. She wanted to try living in Europe and had connections from her time at Hunter College, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in fine and studio arts.
“The experience of living in the UK has been invaluable and has strengthened me as an artist,” said Cecilia. “The cultural landscape is very diverse, with many of my colleagues coming from all over the world. Learning never stops.”
Though she’s dabbled in silversmithing, textiles, and ceramics, her area of focus has been painting and fine art for the last few years.
“My favorite style of art is abstraction,” said Cecilia. “I find abstraction very freeing and enjoy the opportunity to free-associate with non-specific forms and color.”
Cecilia plans to stay with Hales Gallery for the next few years while she maintains her studio practice. She is currently working within textiles, but as two-dimension art that functions similarly to painting.
“With this work I am investigating my own personal history, as well as cultural history as it relates to textiles and ideas of gender,” said Cecilia.
Eventually, she would like to be able to transition into teaching or working full-time as an independent artist.
“Ideally I want to support myself with my art,” said Cecilia. “I just try to do the best I can each day and trust that I will eventually end up where I need to be.”