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Andrew Bucsis '08: Art History Grad Takes Degree North to Canada | SUNY Plattsburgh

Andrew Bucsis ‘08 knew he wanted to be an art history major before he applied to college.

He came to Plattsburgh from his home in Fonthill, Ontario for two reasons: “SUNY Plattsburgh had a great art history program and you got to study in the mountains. (It was) pretty awesome.”

Faculty Connection

The one-on-one attention Bucsis received from his professors helped him further his passion for art.

“It’s a small department so everyone knew each other,” he said.

While it’s too difficult for him to pick a favorite professor, Bucsis fondly remembers his time with Dr. Dennis Costanzo and Dr. Karen Blough. Costanzo was his advisor.

After graduating from SUNY Plattsburgh, Bucsis went on to study modern and contemporary art at SUNY Purchase, receiving his M.A. in 2014.

Across the Border

Soon after that, he was hired as the curatorial assistant at the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery in Waterloo, Ontario.

On the job, he most likes physically interacting with the art, he said, something that directly relates to his work at the gallery.

“I help install the exhibitions. I get to be the one who touches all the art,” Bucsis said. “Most of the time you go into a gallery and you can’t touch anything, but my job is very hands-on so that’s pretty sweet.”

His classes at Plattsburgh gave him “the general grounding in art history principles of style.” He realized the importance of learning as much as he could about the work of influential artists and the characteristics of artistic movements.

Valuable Undergrad Experience

Bucsis said his undergraduate work laid the foundation for his thesis research later on. One of the more challenging parts of teaching the public about art is learning how to answer their questions, he said. “You have to learn how to present art to people who may not be familiar with it in terms they understand.”

“The other part that’s a little tricky especially with contemporary art is (people ask) why is it art? That is a little more of a theoretical debate. It helps to know your art theory and history.”

His advice for students as they prepare to enter the workforce or enroll in graduate school?

“Take advantage of every opportunity you get and go look for what you’re interested in.”

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