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Nicole DelRossi

Nicole DelRossi
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Nicole DelRossi


Curatorial Studies Major with a Business Minor

A W.W Smith Charitable Trust Scholarship recipient 

“I came to Moore around eighteen, typical college age.  I initially came for Fashion Design and then ended up changing my major.  I ended up in Fine Arts and after about six months, Illustration.  I wanted to do everything.   I was doing well and around, I would say, when my junior year, my little brother got sick.  He had a brain tumor. It formed around his pituitary gland; it's a really long name that I can't pronounce.   I tried to hold my own - my parents were at the Ronald McDonald house so I couldn't just quit and go home. I'm a very determined spirit and I'm very stubborn.  I was like, ‘I'm going to get through this.   I'm going to do this.’

Ultimately, things got really heavy. I had to go to New York twice a week - he was NYU Medical.  Of course, it was Thanksgiving, because bad things always happen on holidays. I don't know why that works out that way.  Everything was just very chaotic. I had to get a job, pay rent, grow very fast. I was nineteen/twenty, so I was supposed to start working on growing up, but I was just thrown into it as opposed to other people at that age who get a chance to do it gradually. My grades started to slip, so I decided maybe it was the right thing to do - to part ways with Moore with intentions of coming back within a year or so. 

I had to work a little harder, things got busy. Then I actually started working in the curatorial field by accident. I applied to show my artwork at a gallery then later the owner brought me on as an assistant and then two months later I was director of the gallery.  Then I started founding things.  I founded an arts fair called Art in the Dark where I didn't take any money from the artists, but I would turn these bars into mini art galleries for a night.  I was doing all this stuff that was in my field on top of showing my art work with what I got from Moore. 

It was like five or six years later.  I started thinking about coming back to school just to continue what I was doing and decided that I should go back to school and finish what I started.  It just felt like the right time: my brother was in the clear, everyone was re-situating themselves family wise, friends wise, life wise. Everything was working itself back into place and then when I started doing my research to finish my undergrad, I found that Moore had a Curatorial program, which is great because that means I wouldn't have had to start over. I'm thirty-one now.  At that point I was twenty-eight, twenty-nine. 

Getting that piece of paper with Curatorial Studies on it is really going to push me forward. And now the Business Minor, so I'm getting a little more business savvy and I'm really going to turn my creative spirit into an entrepreneurial spirit.  I want to open my own space and now I feel like I have the tools to do so.  

I was introduced to the W. W. Smith scholarship by Devon in the Financial Aid office.  It was great!  It covered the balance that I had left to be able to get back to Moore. It is going to help me to achieve the goal that I've been working on slowly for this extended amount of time. I just feel like I've been sky-rocketed into the right direction!” 

An excerpt from a February 13, 2015 interview
Photo by Jennifer Vatza