ATLANTA — For Magda Dumitrescu, art is a way to express themself and be understood.
“It’s a bridge of communication without linguistic boundaries,” they said. “I’ve thought about that a lot.”
Dumitrescu began working as a freelance artist at the age of 14, often emailing work to clients so no one would realize how young they were, and started taking classes at Georgia State during their senior year of high school.
Dumitrescu is now finishing up a thesis project focused on ways to make art more accessible to the public. The project examines steps that remove barriers and help connect art to a wider community.
Dumitrescu got an eye-opening lesson in making the language of art more accessible when they taught an art class aimed at middle school students for Atlanta Contemporary. The experience made them more aware of the ways museums and arts institutions discuss art, and start to rethink how to make it more approachable.
“Especially after 2020, institutions really centered accessibility and inclusion in the language of their mission statements,” Dumitrescu said.
As part of their thesis research, Dumitrescu worked with several community organizations and found value in the work the organizations did to foster art in a particular area. They hope more institutions will focus on establishing connections to their local community to foster a sense of artistic expression that is organic to a particular neighborhood and the people who live there.
“It’s important for arts institutions to collaborate with artists and creatives to make art more accessible and create pathways into the art community rather than throwing art into neighborhoods and helping perpetuate gentrification,” Dumitrescu said. “In order to sustain the art community in Atlanta, we need sustainable, collaborative models involving schools, neighborhood organizations, galleries, museums, festivals and our municipal government.”
At this year’s Georgia State Undergraduate Research Conference, Dumitrescu will be presenting a poster addressing ways that museums and arts institutions can be more inclusive.