My name is Rebekah Richardson and I am a Studio Art major at Appalachian State University. This summer, I completed a curatorial internship at Greenhill. This opportunity has familiarized me with the inner-workings of a non-profit art gallery. It’s been a valuable experience both as an artist and as someone who’s interested in arts management.
My biggest accomplishment of my time at Greenhill was co-curating an exhibition at Hemphill Library titled Cooking, Creating, Collaborating & Clay. The show was a joint exhibition which featured place settings of four North Carolina ceramicists as well as illustrated collages of recipes which were created by Learning Art Together participants. I was responsible for getting the place settings together. This involved doing research, contacting artists, securing artwork, making signage and labels, and installing the show. It was a lot of work and it was sometimes challenging. I didn’t realize how much went into putting a show together.
(Image right): Ann Lynch, China Blue Sage Bowl, 2015, clay, 2.25" x 6.75"
Ann Lynch, China Blue Sage Plate, 2015, clay, 1.5" x 10.5"
Ann Lynch, China Blue Yunomi, 2015, clay, 3.35" x 3.5"
I think my favorite part of the internship was assisting artists. In June, I assisted ArtQuest’s first resident Pop-Up artist, Allison Luce. One of the other interns and I helped in installing her wall drawing. We were allowed to do some of the decision-making and it was an interesting collaborative process. I also had the opportunity to assist Jonathan Brilliant during his On Site artist residency. Because his coffee stirrer structures involve weaving, I was especially interested in the process since I am a fiber artist.
Most studio art majors who complete internships choose to be studio assistants so that they can work with artists. This aspect of my internship allowed me to get a little taste of that as well. Both artists have unique practices and being exposed to them influenced me to consider new approaches to my own work.
I also enjoyed helping out with events. I assisted with the Hiroshi Sueyoshi and Daniel Johnston artist talk, our You’ve Got A Friend Auction, and First Fridays. Working events is fun and interesting, but I also gained a better understanding of their importance to a non-profit organization.
The internship allowed for some flexibility so that I was able to get a wider range of experiences. For example, I had the chance to work at the visitor desk which gave me some very useful skills.
Because I love to sew and I am also interested in education, I helped out with ArtQuest’s Eco Fashion camp. There, I taught some of the campers how to operate a sewing machine which was a very rewarding experience.
I’m still not sure if I want to be a curator, but the internship has definitely been a very valuable experience as an artist. I now have a much better understanding of how galleries operate. I have a better idea of what’s expected of me and what I can expect from galleries, what to do and what not to do. I’ve also gained a range of skills and experiences. And importantly, I’ve simply enjoyed my time here at Greenhill.
It’s definitely an opportunity that I would recommend to any aspiring curator or young artist.
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