Santiago Internship Stories: Researching Women Painters at the Intersection of Art and Finance

September 04, 2020

Columbia College student Deborah Moreno Ornelas is a virtual intern at Universidad Católica’s Latin American Center on Economic and Social Policy (Clapes UC), researching the Abstract Expressionist art market from a financial viewpoint with Clapes research associate and Columbia Business School professor Arturo Cifuentes. The work focuses specifically on the women of Abstract Expressionism, who have often been overlooked in the art world. She is putting together a report on 12 of the most important female artists, conducting a literature review to better understand their lives, careers, and any other relevant information that affects their work’s success in the art market.

Considering that Ornelas is an art history and financial economics double major, this internship is a great combination of her interests. She is able to see the tangible links between these two fields and how this might shape her future career. Through this experience, she has also been improving her communication, writing, and research skills, which will be incredibly useful in whatever career path she decides to take.

Ornelas is originally from Monterrey, Mexico and is a rising sophomore at Columbia College. She is an enthusiast of everything art-related and is concerned with exploring issues surrounding the Latin American region and its diaspora communities. She is fascinated with the research process and enjoys volunteering and learning about art in her free time.

Of the experience overall, Ornelas says, “I’m very grateful to the Global Centers for launching this initiative that allows Columbia students like me to connect with scholars and organizations around the world. I wouldn't have met Dr. Cifuentes or been able to gain this experience without it!”