In the city that never sleeps, young people from around the world aspire to find the job of their dreams and survive the cutthroat New York City lifestyle. University of Miami School of Communication graduate, Amy Poliakoff, B.S.C. ’09, is well on her way to the big leagues —and all eyes are watching— as she stars on Bravo’s new reality television show, “Gallery Girls.”
“Gallery Girls” airs every Monday at 10 p.m. ET and features seven young women hoping to climb the ranks in the world of art. Most of the girls hold unpaid internships in hip galleries, or work as interns for art consultants.
Poliakoff majored in Motion Pictures and Art History. While studying in Miami, she developed a love for art by working at the Wolfsonian Museum, a satellite gallery at Florida International University. After graduation, she followed her dream of moving to the Big Apple and landing a job in the archives department at the David Zwirner Gallery. Since then she also has worked at the Paul Kasmin Gallery, Leila Heller Gallery, and now works at Bernarducci Meisel Gallery in their public relations department.
“It was a powerful thing to do -- exposing my whole life to the cameras,” Poliakoff told the Miami New Times. “I did it because I wanted to tell my story. I wanted people to connect with me because everyone in their twenties struggles with something. No matter what it is, don't forget that in your twenties, you become who you are. I think [with] other women putting their life out there you realize, "OK, I am not the only one."
Like any reality TV show, “Gallery Girls” highlights the drama-filled lives of the girls as they struggle with their bosses, coworkers, lovers, and each other. The battle to the top involves pushing everyone out of the way, even friends. The constant drive to impress bosses and network with the best in the industry sometimes pushes these girls to their limits.
Show viewers get a peek into the “glamorous” lives of young girls chasing their dreams in New York City, but the hip art shows and parties that are associated with the gallery life do not come without a cost. “Gallery Girls” makes a clear point that the art industry is shrewd and difficult to break into and ultimately be successful.
But Poliakoff said there are ways to break through.
“Internships. Education is important, but it's almost as valuable because you become familiar with the work place. You are never going to become very successful at any job unless you stop caring what people think and just believe in yourself. That's really important when you're an intern -- you have to own it,” Poliakoff said to the Miami New Times.
*Watch a video of Poliakoff talking about “Gallery Girls” here:
- Emily Young