Philip Davenport, a senior at the University of South Carolina Upstate, was one of only seven undergraduate art history students in the Carolinas selected to present a paper at The Mint Museum of Art’s 23rd Annual Regional Collegiate Art History Symposium in Charlotte, N.C., recently.
This symposium showcases undergraduate art history students’ research on works of art or artists from The Mint Museum’s diverse collections. Davenport’s research focused on “The Puerto Rican Female Artist: Cristina Cordόva and Preludios y Partidas Contextualized.”
“I was familiar with Ms. Cordόva’s work so when I discovered that she was included in The Mint Museum’s collection, I knew that was who I wanted to research,” said Davenport. “In my preliminary preparation for this project, I learned that she was actually working in North Carolina so I had an opportunity to not only meet her, but dialogue frequently with her as I worked through my research phases.”
During the symposium, each student presented a brief synopsis of their research findings and participated in a short question and answer period. All research papers presented this year will be archived in the J.A. Jones Reference Library at Mint Museum Randolph.
“To be able to put her and her work in the spotlight this way was very gratifying to me,” added Davenport. “This whole experience all added up to her piece becoming more personal to me.”
Dr. Rachel Snow, associate professor of art history at USC Upstate, has been a guiding force in introducing students to these types of opportunities and was pleased to again have the university represented at this symposium where the competition for selection is quite rigorous.
“It is an honor to be selected,” noted Dr. Snow. “Every year, I keep a close eye out for students whose work emerges at the top from the research and writing assignments that are part of the art history program throughout the year.”
Snow also credits the power of networking and the role it plays in providing students with these types of opportunities.
“It’s a testament to the professional development efforts of our professors,” emphasized Snow. “It shows the value of networking and how it can benefit students and the university.”