Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Passion pulled from Storage


Bachelor of Arts senior uncovers ideal career path while finding herself and dream job.


By Abrielle Backhaus

To have walked into the Center of Arts as a freshman with a determination to land a dream job before graduation, originally uncertain of what that dream was, would have seemed to Kimberly Storage no more strange a task than making a sandwich.

“I think what sets me apart maybe from other [art] students is, I was given all the same opportunites as other students, but I recognize those opportunities and just always say yes,” Storage said.

The dedication Storage has to art paid off. She found herself in her self-proclaimed dream job at the Tory Folliard Gallery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Before finding her ideal career, Storage said she had a winding path of courses and internships to help shape her vision.

Storage said she had always been interested in art and originally came to UW-Whitewater to earn a BFA in painting. After a few semesters with that major she learned she was more interested in galleries and museums. She switched her major to marketing in hopes of learning the business side of the art world

To gain more experience in the field, she walked into the Crossman Gallery inquiring about employment. When told there were no open positions she sought a way to work herself into the position.

Storage joined the independent study program where she met a friend, Natalie Goebel, and her mentor and inspirer, Michael Flanagan, and worked her way up to a paid position within the Crossman Gallery.

Fellow art student Goebel said she feels inspired by her friend Storage and her work within the Crossman Gallery has always been innovative.

“I just feel like Kim [Storage] always has a new idea about something,” Goebel said. “She’s always got something that she’s working on, especially in the context of the gallery she really headed up our social media thing and one day she just said we should have an Instagram for the gallery and we’ve been having a lot of fun with that and that was all her idea.”

Social media is a major component of gallery assistant positions according to Storage, and she felt it necessary to include in the gallery.

When it comes to her mentor, Storage credits a majority of her knowledge of art to Flanagan, director of the Crossman Gallery.

“I’d say I used to be really shy but Mike [Flanagan] has always encouraged all the gallery assistants to get to know all of those people and make new connections,” Storage said. “He encourages us to talk to everyone even if you don’t know them and he’s very knowledgeable just about art and the art world in general. He’s really taught me everything I know.”

Flanagan didn’t let Storage’s enthusiasm for art go unnoticed.

“Kimberly has kind of showed me her dedication to finding professional work in the gallery business right from the very start,” Flanagan said. “She picked courses at the university that she knew would serve her well in her academic progress toward getting to this professional career.”

Storage’s go-getter attitude has played in her favor as she credits her learned ability to network the primary reason she achieved her dream job.

Goebel said she admires Storage’s ability to achieve goals.

“Kim is awesome at everything she does,” Goebel said. “She just has a drive to be successful and she’ll do and work so hard at everything, if she’s passionate about it she’s going to figure it out and make it work.”

After a few semesters in the marketing program and some words of wisdom from her mother, Storage returned to the Art Department and added an art management minor.

Storage said as she took on internships, not only at the Crossman Gallery, but with
the Whitewater Arts Alliance and the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, she learned a lot about who she was as a person.

Leadership is the quality Storage said she has developed the most during her five years in college.

Flanagan harmonized this idea as he said Storage is a great role model for other students interested in a similar major or future career path.

“She has essentially created a kind of a model program for a student who is looking for a museum or gallery career through the choices of the classes she took,” Flanagan said. “She just looked out at things that were available in the university outside of the department and college that helped her create a resume or portfolio of skills that were really good when there was an opening at one of the top commercial galleries in Milwaukee and conceivably in southeast Wisconsin (Tory Folliard Gallery).”

Whitewater was the first and only university Storage applied to after being encouraged by her two high school art teachers, whom are UW-W alumni.

As she followed her path guided by mentors, Storage has words of wisdom to share.

“I’ve always had a goal in mind, but I was always kind of unsure how to get there,” Storage said. “So just being flexible in how you do things you know, just try different things a lot of different things, different paths, and don’t be set on one way of doing things.”

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Founded 1901
Passion pulled from Storage