From Art Student to Assistant Curator

During her sophomore year, Yovica Alethia, an art and psychology double-major from Jakarta, Indonesia, met up with Associate Professor of Art & Design David Platter to get feedback on her art. Platter was impressed with what he saw from Alethia, as she could articulate “nuance about her own artmaking” in a unique way. He had recently become curator of Dordt University’s art collection and was looking for additional help. Shortly after their meeting, Platter emailed Alethia: might she be interested in helping with the Campus Center Art Gallery and shows?

“My first thought was, ‘Wow, that’s so random,’” she recalls. “But my approach to college has been that I want to try as many things as possible. So, I said yes.”

These days, Alethia works as the assistant curator for Dordt’s art collection. Platter calls Alethia his “right hand in helping manage student workers, install exhibits, and pack art for shipping.”

“She has learned a great deal over the past four years and, this year as a senior, she’s really earned my trust. We work together quite well, and because of this, I’ve been able to direct more time to seeking out and fostering art relations across the region for potential future exhibits,” he says.

One of Alethia’s favorite tasks is working with artists to ensure that their art is displayed well. “I enjoy working with the artists and figuring out how best to display the art,” she says. “It’s been a great learning experience.”

Every day is different. “The other day, my coworker and I spray-painted a cart blue,” she laughs. “You never know what’s going to come up. I just try to be prepared for whatever comes my way.”

One opportunity that came her way was a chance to serve as a juror for the High School Art Showcase, which is on display in the Campus Center Art Gallery until April 4. She, along with assistant professor of art & design Ryan Eckert landscape photographer Chad Postma, considered more than 150 pieces of art from area high school students.

“Unfortunately, we have limited gallery space, so we had to be selective in the pieces we chose,” she says. “I was very intentional in how I considered the artwork because I appreciated the students’ efforts, but there were certain factors that made some of the art stand out more than others. I considered creativity, uniqueness, technicality, and more. I felt very honored to be able to be a part of it.”

Aside from art, Alethia is actively involved in concert choir, Students without Borders, and the Academic Enrichment Center. She worked in the Costume Shop for a couple years, went on a PLIA trip to Cincinnati, and participated in small group Bible studies.

Still, one of her favorite spots on campus is in the Art Department. “It’s a place where I’ve experienced happiness but also deep frustration and sadness as I’ve worked through my art,” she reflects. “All those emotions have made me who I am today as a person and as an artist.”

Alethia is still figuring out what she’ll do after graduation. She might have a future in art curation or art history; she hopes to attend graduate school someday.

“It can feel pressuring, but also this is a shaping moment. I don’t need to know what I will do yet. I have a heavy reliance on God. Whatever happens is in God’s hands.”