Inside the Broad Museum: SMC alumnus gives insight into the art world
Downtown Los Angeles is a well-known hotbed for visitors from all around the world, and its vivacious city-life continues to attract more and more people every day. From the Staples Center off of Figueroa to the Walt Disney Concert Hall on South Grand Avenue, the experiences grow more and more memorable, and with the newly erected Broad Museum in the heart of the action, the visitor is left with an even greater capacity of worldliness.
SMC Alumni, Nathan Segura, stands at the forefront of this artistic interaction. Segura works directly with Broad museum goers as a Visitor Service Associate (VSA). His duties are unique to the individual experience of the museum because his position acts as the direct connection between the artwork and the viewer. "We are the public face of the Broad, in a way," says Segura. "We get to know visitors on a personal level, and we exchange ideas with a very diverse group of people.”
VSA’s help visitors navigate their way through the museum exhibits by offering themselves as educational assistants. Every VSA is accommodating and highly trained, completing 80 hours of customer service and art history training before working at the Broad.
Nathan Segura was born in Leon, France. It's a small town known mainly for its creative and delicious food, but French culture also regards art as one of the highest sophistications of life. Segura acquired his immense appreciation for artwork in Greece after his mother took him on a vacation to the main historical sites of the city when he was a boy. He became fond of the architectural masterpieces there, and he attributes much of his appreciation for the Broad Museum to this past vacation.
SMC served as a huge contributor to Segura’s artistic sensibilities as well. After moving to the United States, he attended Alexander Hamilton High School in Los Angeles and participated in their Magnet Humanities program. Upon graduating, he enrolled at SMC and took part in the college’s Scholar Program. He found that most of his interest was in art history, so he made that his major.
He studied artwork from the Egyptian pyramids all the way to the Baroque period under the tutelage of Professor Mario Semere. Professor Wendi Brown, who teaches African Art History, further encouraged Segura’s passion for art. "All my professors at SMC encouraged me to work in the art world," he said. Once Segura transferred to Cal State Long Beach, he worked part-time in different galleries around the city before applying for a position at the new Broad Museum.
Segura admits that he feels like he doesn’t "have the patience or the imagination required to be a serious artist." He only wants to admire their work and appreciate the world they live in. But whether Segura realizes it or not, his knowledge and skill as a VSA is just as enlightening and universal as anything hanging on the wall.