Alumni Career Conversation – Cultural Producer, Curator, and Educator

Who is our interviewee?

Eva Mayhabal Davis has organized art exhibitions at BronxArtSpace, En Foco, Expressiones Cultural Center, MECA International Art Fair, Photoville NYC, Queens Museum, Ray Gallery, and Smack Mellon. Based in Brooklyn, NY, she is a Co-Director at Transmitter, a collaborative curatorial initiative and in 2020, she will be the Curator-in-Residence at Kunstraum LLC. Her work falls under the umbrella of Eva Mayha Projects, a platform for cultural productions presented by Eva Mayhabal Davis in collaboration with exhibition spaces and publications. The goal is to facilitate conversations, create visibility, and feed creativity amongst artists and audiences. She is a curator, producer, writer, educator, and cultural producer.

How did you get started in a career in your current industry?

I’ve had a strong interest in the visual arts throughout my education, taking specialized arts and humanities classes in high school. Focusing on my strengths and interests transferring to UW to complete a degree in Art History, while teaching an art class at the Wallingford Boys & Girls Club and interning with the education department at the Henry Art Gallery. These various roles grounded my studies in practice. I was exposed to understanding the career options in my field.

Briefly walk us through your career journey.

I was encouraged to apply to internships in bigger museums. I choose the Guggenheim Museum for its prestigious development in museum education. Following a 6-moth internship, I applied to other fellowships that have given me the necessary tools, experience, and network to now follow my own path. I co-direct an art gallery with a collaborative business model and apply my skills as an independent contractor allowing creative work and support for the creative field to be sustainable.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

My work in culture is applicable in a number of industries because it’s about creative problem-solving. A big part of the work is about advocacy to have creative engagement in all fields.

How is your work the same, or different, than what you thought it would be when you began college?

So different. I learned about career choices once I was in the field.

Do you have any words of advice for UW students interested in a career in your sector or industry?

Ask questions, form your own path, trust your gut, and support what you believe in. Art is valuable because YOU make it so. Go to your friend’s art shows, buy their t-shirts, support their businesses, make them dinner, connect on a human scale, and hire them to design for you.

By Caitlin Goldbaum
Caitlin Goldbaum Career Coach Caitlin Goldbaum