“I knew Tulane was the school for me as soon as I set foot on campus,” Jacqueline Wladis (SLA ’14) said. Although she was considering a few options for college, the moment she first visited Tulane, she knew this would be her home for the next four years.
At Tulane, Wladis studied art history. She became enthralled by the teaching of Professor Mia Bagneris—a relationship that developed after enrolling in Bagneris’ course “Art of the African Diaspora, c. 1925-Present” and subsequently working with Bagneris in a senior seminar.
As a result of Bagneris’ courses, Wladis explained that her “worldview completely changed. I learned so much about art and art history. But social justice also became a big part of the conversation. That was really important for shifting my experience—it changed my life.”
Wladis believes that her SLA courses helped her develop strong writing and public speaking skills, led her to become a self-starter, and enhanced her problem-solving skills—all of which are important aspects of her job today. Many of these skills, Wladis explains, she learned from her dynamic instructors such as Bagneris and Holly Flora, another professor in the Newcomb Art Department. “Having such a well-rounded liberal arts education set me apart as a candidate.”
Wladis currently manages merchant relations at Conde Nast, the media company that publishes magazines such as Vogue, The New Yorker, GQ, and Pitchfork. On the commerce team, she facilitates relationships with clients who want their products featured on the magazines’ websites. Before starting at Conde Nast, she worked at a small fashion tech start-up. Regardless of her position, Wladis has brought the passion for art and social issues she cultivated at Tulane, her love of fashion, and her enthusiasm for relationship building to the technological world.
As her graduation neared, Jacqueline’s parents, Diane and Mark Wladis, discussed making a donation to the university. “Tulane was huge for me, and my parents wanted to make a contribution in honor of how influential my experiences were." With this in mind, she pointed them toward her art history professors. Since 2013, the Wladis’ commitment has supported the annual Wladis Seminar on Curatorial Careers.
On Thursday, November 8, Newcomb Art Department presents the fifth lecture in the Wladis Seminar on Curatorial Careers, welcoming Mpho Matsipa. Matsipa is a researcher at the Wits City Institute at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, and Curator at Studio-X Johannesburg. She will present “Curating as a Counter-Cartographic Process,” which will explore the recent African Motilities exhibition at TU Müchen, architecture, and urbanism. The Wladis Seminar allows students to hear from professional curators on a special topic. Students meet in a less-formal setting with the curator over lunch the following day, providing space for networking and advice.