Introduction – Claudia Garcia quinones

Hello! My name is Claudia!

I am a (very recent) graduate of Arizona State University, majoring in Museum Studies. I was born and raised in Houston, Texas and recently returned after studying in Arizona for my undergrad. I’m happy to be returning to Texas for my LHIP internship with Padre Island National Seashore as a Submerged Cultural Resources Intern.

I’ve always valued cultural experiences, and often spent time visiting the extensive Houston museum district when I was younger. I was lucky enough to attend the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, where I continued to foster love and appreciation for art and art history. I created soft sculptures out of recycled fabric, themed around legs! I’m still passionate about fiber arts and crochet in my free time. I entered Arizona State University studying Business Entrepreneurship, but found myself craving more of the positive creative energy I found in the art world. I entered Museum Studies hoping to work with art and understand its presence and relevance in our world. I found so much more!

One of my sewn inflatable leg sculptures circa 2016

I started studying Italian, and fell in love with the language and food culture. Food is always something I’ve been interested in. Not only the process of cooking, or individual dishes, but food’s connection to history, geography, class structure, and other supplemental factors that aren’t obvious. I was able to do a study abroad in Italy before Covid, with a focus in sustainable practices. We worked on an organic farm and cooked with locally grown ingredients! I also took a class on Mediterranean food practices and fell even more in love with Italian cuisine.

Pruning organic tomato plants in Morroville, Italy, 2019

I also discovered that the core of any museums is conservation. Regardless of content every museum aims to protect and share a specific facet of our shared stories. I worked for a year at the Hall of Flame Museum of Firefighting and fell in love with niche museums and the passion of the people who operate them. In my studies it became clear that there is a stigma around museums, however. There is a belief that museums are for academic, older, and wealthy audiences instead of an essential community resources to be shared with everyone. As a Latina woman, I want to help create welcoming spaces for those whose narrative is often ignored, and who don’t see themselves in museum environments. This internship is a great opportunity to apply my personal mission to existing cultural resources. I’ll be researching 16th century shipwrecks off the coast of Texas and translating them into a small traveling museum exhibition.

I’m so excited for my summer posting and writing about my experiences here for you all to read!

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