Meet The Team | January 18, 2024

Allison Valdivia, Collections Manager

Allison Valdivia, Collections Manager

Allison Valdivia recently began work as Collections Manager at the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures after five years at the San Antonio Museum of Art, including time as a registrar and exhibits technician.

Artist Brian Wall’s “Double Triple” sculpture restoration project (before and after)

Valdivia’s daily duties as collections manager will include care of the institute’s artifacts and objects, inventory and object location updates, reviewing loan records for renewal or return of objects, condition reports and conservation treatments, and any other requirements involving the institute’s collection.

Time at SAMA taught Valdivia the methods and regulations of working in a museum environment and instilled a sense of responsibility for the objects in the institution’s care. She created and facilitated a cleaning schedule for the museum’s collection and loaned objects, including an eight-foot Marcus Aurelius sculpture, paintings, ancient pottery and various antiquities. She installed 16 exhibitions, including a project with artist Abhidnya Ghuge involving 8,807 woodblock-printed paper plates.

“We are thrilled to have Allison join the ITC team,” said Monica Perales, associate vice provost of the ITC. “She has worked in challenging scenarios, with several types of objects and extensive collections. We welcome her skills and experience.”

Tree of Life sculpture, restored by Allison Valdivia

A UTSA graduate, Valdivia holds a bachelor’s in painting and printmaking, with a minor in art history. She was able to apply these skills throughout her career at SAMA, as she completed numerous conservation projects, including receiving approval from artist Brian Wall to restore his “Double Triple” sculpture and extensive work on a Tree of Life sculpture, requiring a new base to allow the piece to stand freely, plaster molding to replace leaves, and painting the restoration components to blend seamlessly into the original piece.

“The collection at the Institute of Texan Cultures stands apart from other museum collections,” said Valdivia. “These particular objects tell the personal histories of those who have come to create communities across Texas. I’m excited to take part in preserving the collection so the objects may speak of these histories for generations to come.”

Outside work hours, creativity remains in Valdivia’s heart. She expresses it in embroidery, painting, and acoustic guitar. She tends herb plants, including basil and rosemary, which she incorporates in baking. She tends to bake for personal enjoyment of the process and the product.

By James Benavides