Student Worker Profile: Jessie Cole ’17

by Jessie Cole ’17

Jessie Cole working on stage lightingHi! My name is Jessie Cole and I am a Media & Cataloging Assistant at the Imaging Center. Most of my job involves updating the catalog of our collection on ARTSTOR, scanning images, and checking records of what types of images and works we have on file. I decided to work at the Imaging Center because I am passionate about Art History and fascinated by archives and collections. Working in cataloging has allowed me to explore Smith’s incredibly diverse art collections and discover new pieces and artists to get excited about.

When I’m not in the Imaging Center, I am almost undoubtedly in the theatre building. I am a theatre major with a concentration in design, and most of my time is spent working in electrics, making plots, and designing as many shows as I can before I graduate. This semester, my main project is working as the lighting designer for the department’s spring production of THE BAKKHAI. I also create and produce theatre with Student Theatre Committee, Smith’s independent theatre organization. This semester, I am spearheading a project in work devised from design aspects. If you’ll allow a shameless plug, make sure to like us on Facebook for more information about risk-taking theatre on campus! (Left: a photo of me doing my lighting thing).

One of the reasons why I love designing for the stage so much is because it is the perfect intersection between my passion for theatre and my passion for art. I love finding new artists to research and different mediums and eras to explore. Lighting design is exciting because most of my work draws inspiration from these artists, and in a way, I get to bring my favorite paintings and photographs to life in a different medium and different context. This has made my last couple of projects at the Imaging Center invaluable and fascinating. I have been going through various art books and cataloging works into ARTSTOR. The last round of books I worked from gave me a variety of different types of art to look at, from vintage movie posters to work by communist artists of the 1930s-50s. I’m excited to continue working with the new additions to ARTSTOR and see what new discoveries I can make.

(Image Left: Detroit Federal Theatre Unit of Michigan Works Progress Administration Presents “It Can’t Happen Here” by Sinclair Lewis, 1936-37. Poster, silkscreen print on board; 35.5 x 55.8 cm (14 x 22 in). Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, DC. From America After the Fall: Painting in the 1930s. Edited by Judith A. Barter.)

(Image Right: Dracula. 1931. US 22 x 28 in. (56 x 71 cm). From Film Posters of the 30s: The Essential Movies of the Decade from the Reel Poster Gallery Collection. Edited by Tony Nourman and Graham Marsh.)