Bachelor in Fine Arts
Major Art History and Film Studies
“There is so much opportunity at Concordia.”
Volunteering and student clubs enhanced Gita Subaran’s university experience
Many art aficionados can only dream of working with original pieces by world-renowned artists. Gita Subaran, BFA 15, has made it her everyday reality.
Subaran is an auction services coordinator at Crown Fine Art in the United Kingdom, where she ensures safe shipping of paintings by artists such as Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse to clients around the world.
The former international student and graduate of Concordia’s Art History and Film Studies program spoke to us about her university highlights and how her studies influenced her professional choices.
Tell us about your student experience at Concordia.
I came from France and it was my first time in Montreal. I was living in residence at Loyola Campus in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce and the atmosphere was very friendly. Everyone was really open and helpful at the International Students Office. I liked that you could meet people from various programs and backgrounds. It was definitely what I was looking for.
Were you involved in any student clubs or associations at Concordia?
I had a friend who ran the Cinéclub Film Society. They screen 35-millimetre films that you can’t watch at home. I distributed flyers and would help out at screenings if my friend needed me. It’s a great space where students can share their passion for film.
How did the Art History and Film Studies program help shape your professional choices?
When I graduated, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but I knew I wanted to stay in the art world. The knowledge of different art movements really helped me find internships and that professional experience got me to where I am today.
What brought you to Crown Fine Art?
After Concordia, I moved to London to pursue a master's degree in arts management and cultural policy. I interned at galleries and in public relations, which led me to becoming an assistant at Crown Fine Arts — an art logistics company that handles all the transportation of artwork in the U.K. and internationally.
I see myself as a guardian of artwork before it is delivered to its final destination. You get to learn about handling painting and sculptures, as well as different artifacts. It factors in art law and regulation all over the world. It's definitely a branch where you learn a lot from the technicalities of it and that's why I'm still there.
Have you transported the artwork of any famous artists?
We deal with the sale of impressionist and modern art at Christie's in London, U.K. It is mainly a lot of Paul Cézane, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso and Claude Monet that we collect from Christie's auction house and ship to clients directly. We transport work by contemporary artists like George Condo, Damien Hirst and Yayoi Kusama, as well.
Do you have any volunteer experience?
I volunteered with Habitat for Humanity after high school and built houses in Malaysia. It was something I really wanted to do before university. After Concordia, I volunteered for the annual MURAL Festival in Montreal. I guided visitors and helped with gallery pop up shows where artists were showcased. It broadened my knowledge of street art and how artists produce large-scale murals. I also transcribed Q&A sessions at the Toronto International Film Festival. I got to sit at the conferences and learn about the film industry.
Any advice for current students?
There is so much opportunity at Concordia. Student associations, clubs and volunteering are a great way to meet people who have the same interests as you, and are a way to get involved and learn something new. They give you an overview of what it's like in the professional world — a perspective of what you can achieve later on and see if you like it.