Alumna Spotlight: Anne Marie Purkey Levine ’98
Anne Marie Purkey Levine ’98 was born into a love for the arts. While growing up, her parents spent their modest income on experiences—they exposed her to museums and art exhibits whenever possible. Levine’s grandmother dabbled as an artist, and art played an important role in her childhood. Levine, however, was no artist and found a career in the arts to be an unlikely future.
“I was honest with myself growing up,” she says. “I was interested in art and held a great appreciation for artists and their work. But, it was unlikely that I would be a great artist myself.”
When considering colleges, Levine considered majoring in the humanities. Her older brother attended Harvey Mudd College, so she was familiar with The Claremont Colleges. Levine’s strong academic background and stance as a self-proclaimed “avid feminist” confirmed her interest in Scripps College; she applied early decision, was accepted, and committed.
As a first-year at Scripps, she integrated her love for the arts with her interest in the humanities. And she discovered art history as a means to investigate culture and society through visual art. Mary MacNaughton, professor of art history and the Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler ’72 Director of the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery, served as a valuable resource, adviser, and mentor. MacNaughton also served as Levine’s internship supervisor. “Mary helped me connect my interests and knowledge to real-life applications,” says Levine.
During her senior year, Levine was honored with a Wilson internship through the Williamson Gallery. The yearlong internship provides students exposure to the fields of arts administration and art conservation. Levine’s experience as a Wilson intern allowed her to learn about collections management at the gallery and helped prepare her for a career in the arts. She was able to apply her skills and experiences to her first full-time position as an exhibitions assistant at LACMA, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
“This role empowered me to connect my passion for culture and the arts,” says Levine. “I worked with our exhibitions team to show collections on Cuban and African heritage.”
This experience led her to pursue a master of arts in humanities from the University of Chicago before relocating to San Diego and then San Francisco for work in contemporary and public art management. Levine held positions at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and the San Francisco Arts Commission, combining her skills in exhibition management and public art. After crafting her career in the arts for 18 years, Levine was ready to try something new. She again relocated, this time moving to the opposite coast to Portland, Maine with her family and the intention of starting her own arts consulting business: AMPL Art Consulting.
“There are few individuals with both museum collections and public art experience,” she says. “I took advantage of my skillset and niche in moving to Maine.” Since the transition, Levine has worked with clients such as the Maine Arts Commission, bringing the work and stories of underrepresented artists to the seaport community. She has been able to select clients whose goals align with her own, bringing socially and politically engaged projects to the public. While she never imagined herself as an entrepreneur, Levine is finding success and proving she is more than capable.
Levine credits her Scripps College mentors and internship experiences in her success within the visual art field and later with starting her own business: “I’ve worked hard for the real-world experience that my clients expect. For anyone interested in consulting, especially within the arts, I cannot stress the value in honing your skills and knowledge first. This experience has allowed me to understand the trends within the field, earning me the respect from my clients and community.”