Meet the MGES Students

Nel Burkett 
Graduate Student, MGES
B.A. History and Politics & Government, Western State Colorado University

Nel Burkett is pursuing a career in professional exhibits development and collections care. Currently, she is collections manager at Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum (CBMHM), a nonprofit community museum, where for three years she has juggled exhibit design, event programing, volunteer recruitment, fundraising and collections care. Burkett was trained as a collections registrar at BLM: Anasazi Heritage Center (AHC) and Canyons of the Ancients in Dolores, Colo. Prior to her internship with the AHC, Burkett interned for three years at CBMHM, where she was first inspired to work with and care for collections. 


 Bryson Darnel
Graduate Student and Grad Student Gallery Manager (Quigley Gallery), MGES
B.F.A. Sculpture, Western State Colorado University

Bryson Darnel is currently pursuing his master’s degree with the intent of entering a career path in fine art gallery management and curation and advancing his own art practice. He has exhibited his work in the Quigley Gallery (2009 and 2016) and in a solo show at 2520 Lar Gallery (2015), where he currently has work on display.


Stephanie Edwards
Graduate Student, MGES
B.A. Studio Art and Minor in Curatorial Studies & Gallery Administration, Metropolitan State University of Denver

Stephanie Edwards is an independent curator with experience in art handling, installation, exhibition coordination and research. Edwards' background in art theory, studio art and field archaeology provide a unique lens to her practice. As a practicing artist herself, Edwards sees her curatorial practice as material for social practice artwork by utilizing communication as a medium. Artist advocacy has become a central element in her curatorial strategy through her training as a curatorial intern at Black Cube, a nomadic art museum that is the first organization to be W.A.G.E. certified from its inception. Edwards is a former curator of 965 Gallery at Center for Visual Art.

Select publications include “Language as Medium Interview with Joel Swanson and “Illusive Facade: An Interview with Laura Shill.” Recent examples of curatorial work include “​​Resound:​ ​Reverberations​ ​between​ ​Artist​ ​and​ ​Place at 965 Gallery and​ “​​Emerge:​ ​A​ ​Visual​ ​Arts​ ​Showcase​ ​of​ ​MSU​ ​Denver​ ​Students” at Emmanuel Gallery. Edwards has recently held a number of roles, such as panel discussion monitor for “Carving your Niche: Printmaking Practices",” juror of “Analogue Impressions: Examining the Printmaking Process,” and organizer of “Print // Ex: A community Print Exchange".” She has worked with several professionals, including Amanda Hunt, Luc Tuymans, Nina Katchadourian, Modou Dieng, MK Guth, Cortney Lane Stell, and Mac McFarland. More information on Edwards' practice can be found at Cargo and LinkedIn.


Kristen Elizabeth Grant
Graduate Student, MGES
B.A. Arts Management, SUNY Purchase

Kristen Grant grew up in rural Vermont, just south of Burlington on Lake Champlain. She received her B.A. in Arts Management from SUNY Purchase College in 2013, studying primarily under the advisement of now-Western professor Jeffrey Taylor, Ph.D. Grant then moved south to New Orleans to work at a number of arts institutions—namely the Ogden Museum of Southern Art where she held the position of membership and development assistant as well as sales associate for the museum store and reception desk. During the past four years in the city, Kristen has worked in various departments at the Contemporary Art Center as a gallery guard, curator’s assistant, and front desk associate, as well as briefly managing the accounts for a local graphic design studio. Mainly interested in the history, handling and conservation of art, Grant hopes to take advantage of the exceptional classes offered in the Master in Gallery Management and Exhibits Specialization program through Western State Colorado University as an incoming graduate student.


 Krista Hanley
Graduate Student, MGES
B.F.A. Photography, College of Santa Fe

Krista Hanley is an art collection and gallery manager with more than 15 years of experience in private collections, art galleries and nonprofits. Currently she is the exhibit and events coordinator of the Coors Western Art Exhibit in Denver, Colorado. Previously, she worked in several notable Santa Fe, New Mexico galleries, including Andrew Smith Gallery, LewAllen Contemporary and William Talbot Fine Art. She has additional experience working with fine art appraisers, designing and editing publications, and assisting artists. ​


Chelsea Kereszi 
Graduate Student, MGES
B.A., SUNY Purchase
Associate of the Arts, Hudson Valley Community College

Having her associate’s degree with honors in Art Gallery Management and her bachelor’s degree in Arts Management, Chelsea Kereszi is very much at home in the arts culture. She began her interest in the arts at age 17 by writing, directing and facilitating screenings for Daddyless,” a biological video diary installation. Her videos were shown at Drew University, The Sanctuary for Independent Media, public schools and Tory, New York’s Fulton Street Gallery. After attending college and taking on the role of assistant to the director of The Teaching Gallery at Hudson Valley Community College, she knew she wanted to be involved in gallery spaces. Kereszi self-curated a multimedia exhibit, “American Family Portrait,” hosted at Fulton Street Gallery. This exhibit featured works by photographer and Yale Professor, Lisa Kereszi.

Today, Kereszi curates independent shows, hosts booths at festivals and maintains an online store selling her hand-made crafts. She hopes to pursue a career in gallery management and really make a difference in the art world. 


Shomar Lowe
Graduate Student, MGES
B.A. Arts Management and Economics, SUNY Purchase

Shomar Lowe, hailing from the Bronx, a borough of New York City, comes into this program having completed his B.A. in Arts Management and Economics from SUNY Purchase in 2014. Lowe is incredibly excited about staying in Gunnison, Colo. for the summer residency, as it is a new experience that will help him to become more knowledgeable in matters of art.

When he joined the student body at SUNY Purchase, he realized that although he liked creating art, he was more interested in the prospect of helping artists and learning about current art. He ended up working with now-Western professor Jeff Taylor, Ph.D., in this setting, learning about galleries and museums, as well as the cultural significance of different forms of art. He also realized his interest in business and social science, as well as working as both the financial coordinator and business analyst for the school’s student government. After graduation, he took a fine arts course in drawing through the SUNY Purchase study abroad program in Antibes, France.

With plans of opening an art gallery, the potential of building on current arts and business knowledge with more of a specialization in museums and galleries was an important factor when Lowe chose Western. Upon completion of the program, Lowe hopes that he can use the tools gained to create a dynamic and capturing space.


Kelvin J. Vivar
Graduate Student, MGES
.A. Arts Management, SUNY Purchase 

A New York-raised curator of visual arts, Kelvin Vivar has experience in gallery upkeep and installation in New York City areas like Central Booking, where he worked on exhibit openings. Vivar participated in, helped curate and helped de-install these shows while fixing up the galleries. Vivar also has experience in art handling and packaging. He volunteers at the Affordable Art Fair to discover new galleries. He serves as junior curator at Meural Inc., where he licenses and curates artists’ works while working directly with the artists.

He earned his bachelor of arts in the Arts Management field with an Art History background and focus on Gallery Management.


 Paige Brevard
Senior Art Undergraduate Student and MGES Practicum Student
Western State Colorado University

Paige Brevard attended the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design for her first two years of undergraduate studies. Her emphasis there was Fine Arts with a minor in Illustration. She transferred to Western State Colorado University her junior year to complete her B.A. in the Art program. She holds a work study position as Gallery Staff in the Quigley Gallery and has thus continued to grow her passion for art. She was approved as a senior undergraduate student with excellent gallery experience to undertake the MGES summer intensive practicum. She plans to apply for that program as a masters-degree-seeking applicant once she graduates from Western State Colorado University.