Katie Cronin: Where did you go to college and what did you study?
Ernest Jolly: I went to San Francisco State University where I earned a BA in Studio Art. I then went to Budapest and studied at the Tihany International Postgraduate Program, finishing in 2003. In 2006, I returned to California and obtained my MFA in Studio Art from Mills College.
KC: How did you begin your career in the arts? Did you originally start your career in a different field?
EJ: My grandmother taught me to sew when I was little. It was because of this experience that I studied Couture and Tailoring. While studying the history of design, I became interested in fine art.
KC: What are your responsibilities as Preparator?
EJ: As the Preparartor, I build the exhibition space, gallery furniture, and install/de-install the art objects. I also repair any works on display, if needed.
KC: What is the most exciting aspect of your job?
EJ: I love to see how new works of art are constructed. The medium of new media is fascinating; there are so many different platforms for artists to explore the world around us, whether it is by computer, video, or 3D textile. In addition, I like having access to the collection in storage. Not many people get to see all of these works.
KC: What advice would you give someone thinking about pursuing a museum career?
EJ: You must have a passion for art. Do not limit yourself just to museums, get experience at auction houses, commercial galleries—volunteer anywhere you can.
KC: What are your hobbies?
EJ: Aside from making art, one of my hobbies is exploring architectural ruins.