Student Spotlight

Albany Law Students Get Hands-On with Legal Side of Art Curation

Vincent DiCocco ’16, Patsy Castiglia ’17 and Kevin Manngard ’17

By Sarah Baum ’18
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This past spring semester, three Albany Law School students worked alongside sixteen University at Albany students promoting and curating contemporary art exhibits in conjunction with the Albany Center Gallery. The curated art was created by emerging and established local artists, and was exhibited to inspire interest and provide enjoyment to the Albany community.

The Curatorial Studies course, which focused on all aspects of collection development and management for museums, was offered as a collaboration between UAlbany’s Department of Art & Art History and Albany Law School. As curators, the students were charged with putting together art exhibits, both as a class and in smaller groups.

UAlbany sought Albany Law students well-versed in copyright and contract law. In working with the local artists, there was a need for legal advice covering a wide variety of legal issues regarding liability, licensing, fair use in advertising, as well as the possibility of fair use in shows both tangible and based fully online. Three Albany Law students offered their assistance: Vincent DiCocco ’16, Patsy Castiglia 17 and Kevin Manngard 17, all of whom shared an interest in contract law and intellectual property topics.

Together, DiCocco, Castiglia and Manngard helped by resolving contracting issues with artists including licensing the artwork, making sure the art had insurance coverage, and contracting for the location of each event.

“As artists you want to know how your work is going to be used by others and what limitations are placed on the artwork” DiCocco said.

Taught by an adjunct and local artist, Curatorial Studies gave students advanced insight into the world of art, in addition to firsthand experience in the legal profession.

“This course is inspirational, and has inspired me to become imaginative in ways I didn’t think I could,” DiCocco said.

The UAlbany students involved in DiCocco’s primary group included Alyssa Napolitano, Gaby Moreno, Sammi Rhodes and William Hoffman — all fine arts majors.

“Together as a team, we put together great events and promotions for the community. The UAlbany team deserves as much — if not more — recognition,” DiCocco said.

For each event, the students were responsible for creating a theme for the exhibit, choosing the artists, setting up the exhibits, and promoting the events via advertising on Facebook as well as through printed materials displayed throughout the community.

The students curated three community shows and recently had one final show.

“We had constant contact with the artists, who were all very receptive,” DiCocco said. “At the class’ largest art show, in attendance were a couple hundred people from our community.”

For DiCocco, who came from an engineering background, the course helped him gain a greater appreciation of art.

“It’s wonderful to see different aspects of art,” he said. “It’s a different world.”

Albany Law School curators