Art as a Mirror of Our Times: Alumna Alessia Buonopane

Alumna Alessia Buonopane was born and raised in Castellammare di Stabia, a small town south of Naples. She graduated from JCU in 2021 with a degree in International Affairs and a minor in Art History. She is currently Gallery Assistant at Rhinoceros, an art gallery in Rome.

Alessia Buonopane

Alessia Buonopane

What brought you to Rome and JCU?
I wanted to move to a big city in order to broaden my horizons. I have always loved languages, especially English. My choice to attend JCU was due to the fact that I wanted to study in English and master the language, without necessarily having to move abroad. When I got to know JCU better, I immediately understood that it was the right place for me and my passions.

How is life after graduation?
Life after graduation is nothing like I expected it to be. Every day life finds new ways to amaze me and take me places I never thought I would go. I pursued a master’s degree in Art Management at LUISS Business School and immediately after I started working as a gallery assistant at Rhinoceros, in the center of Rome.

Tell us about your experience as Gallery Assistant at Rhinoceros.
Rhinoceros is a unique place where an art gallery meets a luxury hotel with a panoramic terrace. My job, apart from being surrounded by beautiful art every day, is to take care of the gallery, which is featured on every floor of the building. I try to form relationships with visitors, art collectors, and artists, and assist them in any way I can.

What did you like most about being a student at JCU? What is a class/professor that impacted you and why?
My years at JCU are among my fondest memories. The people I met while studying at JCU truly enriched my life and my personal journey. I met some of my dearest friends at JCU, as well as some professors who inspired me to pursue my career in art. I will always be grateful to Professors Ilaria Gianni and Sarah Linford, two passionate and brilliant women whom I was lucky enough to meet, and who made me love art in all its forms even more.

What made you decide to combine International Affairs and Art History at JCU?
Art has always been one of my biggest passions, and I had always known that I would work in the art field. However, I felt the need to combine Art History with International Affairs in order to better understand how the world works. Economy, politics, and history, each one of these flow in a larger vessel, which is art. After all, what is art if not a mirror of our times?

What would you say to a prospective Italian student who might be wary about studying at an American University?
I remember that during my first day at JCU, during Orientation Week, I was terrified. As an Italian student, I found myself surrounded mostly by Americans and students from other countries, and I was afraid my English would not be good enough for them to understand me and vice versa. This fear completely disappeared after I started to meet my peers and attend my first classes, because that is when I understood I was about to start one of the best chapters of my life.

What are your plans for the future?
I don’t have any specific plans for my future. I know that I will try to settle in Rome and create my life here, and hopefully, I can build a satisfying career in art.