Leah Scott

Registrar and Collections Manager

When I started at Tyler Junior College, I was a studio art major. My hope was that I could become a private art teacher once I married my then-fiancé who was in the military, but that was the only plan I had. My last semester at TJC, my fiancé and I split up and my whole world crashed down around me. In the span of one summer, I re-planned and re-evaluated my life. I applied to several art institutes and was accepted to the San Francisco Art Institute with a (very) small scholarship. Not wanting to bury myself in student debt and uproot myself so far from the support of my family, I instead applied to UT Tyler late in the summer and began my new path.

The first semester at UT Tyler was the hardest, as most of the studio classes I hoped for were already full. I took several 3D art classes, which I had no experience in, and flailed through those first few months. My life preserver became the art history class I had with Dr. Lisot. Half way through my first semester, I changed my major to art history. I was first introduced to museum work during my second semester at UT Tyler when Dr. Lisot asked if I would be interested in the internship program. Since I didn’t know there was an internship program, I emphatically said yes.

I was privileged enough to have not one, but two internships and one independent study through the Tyler Museum of Art. I learned about the permanent collection, how to do condition reports, and how to install and take down shows in the galleries. When I learned the registrar at the museum would be leaving, I sent my resume to the director and said that if it wasn’t too presumptuous of me, I would love the opportunity to work with everyone again. To my surprise, the director offered me the job shortly after my interview.

By the time I graduated at UT Tyler, I had my degree in Art History and two minors; one in studio art and one in curatorial studies. I was the first to graduate from UT Tyler with the curatorial studies minor.

Since being at the museum, I have gone on countless trips all over the state of Texas, touched priceless works of art (with gloves on), made numerous connections with artists, gallerists and other museum professionals, have cleaned both storage areas housing the permanent collection and have cleaned up the filing systems of the paper work for the permanent collection and the past exhibitions. None of this would have been possible without the wonderful support of the staff at Tyler Junior College and the University of Texas at Tyler, and the incredible opportunities through UT Tyler.

My Sessions