In March 2015, GSAS Alumni Association Board member Tracy Zwick moderated an alumnae breakfast in honor of Women's History Month. In the following Q&A, she describes her professional path and her experiences at GSAS.
Q: How have you combined your backgrounds in law and art?
A: After law school, I clerked for an appellate court judge and worked as a litigator, then joined a legal non-profit on behalf of underprivileged women. I returned to graduate school to pursue my interest in art history, receiving my M.A. degree from Columbia in 2011. I was an Art & Law Resident at the New York non-profit Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, and I continue to practice art law independently and write for art publications, such as Art in America, ArtReview, and Cultured magazine.
Q: Who spoke at the alumnae breakfast in honor of Women's History Month?
A: Our speakers included GSAS Vice Dean Andrea Solomon, an inspiring presence and accomplished woman. Claire Gilman was an acclaimed scholar and curator before working at the Drawing Center, where she has done tremendous work. Emily Liebert and I were graduate students together at Columbia; she now works at MoMA. Emily spoke about her background and how important it was to have female mentors. Anita Demkiv was wonderful as she discussed breaking into a male-dominated industry [energy commodities]. She gave insights into how she handled herself, being the only woman (or one of only a few) at industry events and conferences.
Q: How has GSAS played a role in the speakers' professional growth?
A: Both Claire and Emily curated shows at Columbia's Wallach Art Gallery during their time as graduate students—experiences that both said were very important to their professional development. And I had the opportunity to curate the inaugural exhibition at the Diana Center at Barnard. We all agreed that the opportunity to curate was a useful benefit as graduate students in our department.