Carnegie Mellon University

Miller Institute for Contemporary Art

New Student Committee Reshaping Arts Engagement

written by
Lydia Rosenberg

The Miller ICA Student Committee, a new engagement coalition organized by student gallery assistants, launched last fall. The committee was formed to generate peer-to-peer awareness about exhibitions and programs among students from across campus and in the greater Pittsburgh area.

Elizabeth Chodos, Miller ICA director, recognized the potential for student organizations such as this to foster a sense of community and curiosity among students. “Our gallery assistants are our most essential connection to student life on campus,” she said. “The student committee gives them space to bring their unique perspectives to the table and to make connections that enrich visitor experiences, both in-person and online.”

Lydia Rosenberg, Miller ICA’s new visitor service coordinator, oversaw the formation and development of the committee and will continue to offer support as the staff liaison for project logistics and guidance. School of Art rising senior, Ester Petukhova, was essential to shaping the committee’s scope and overall structure during her internship in fall 2021.

“Our hope for the future is that the committee’s programming can reshape student engagements with the museum space on campus and that the program will further develop logistical skills such as grant/project proposal writing, arts organization, public relations and an interest in art within the greater city of Pittsburgh,” said Petukhova, who serves as committee co-chair alongside BXA junior Laurence Gao. “This is really a tremendous stepping stone for students at the school to observe the inner working mechanisms of the museum.”

In its pilot year, the Miller ICA student committee produced response projects for every exhibition, connecting with students and bringing new awareness about the Miller ICA on campus. This year, the Miller ICA team looks forward to expanding committee membership among student employees and generating thoughtful projects that foster community, inquiry and belonging. Follow the committee on Instagram @millericastudents to learn more about past projects and to see what they are working on this year.