Thursday, October 30, 2014

Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts/Dandelion Spring Farm

My name is Elizabeth Langyher and I am a Junior Ceramics major. As a sophomore, I began exploring agriculture and its relationship with ceramic art forms in my studio classes. I became very interested in planters and the process of seeding and transplanting sprouts due to my experience with growing and maintaining a large garden at home for the past several years. At the same time I was investigating this, the head of my department, David East, was putting together a ceramic studio/organic farm internship that would explore food, clay, studio work, and an opportunity to learn about organic farming.
The two organizations, Watershed and Dandelion Farms, are direct neighbors and this proximity was the inspiration for the internship. Watershed is an organization that aims to give artists an opportunity to work in a communal studio and have the freedom and means to make their work. Dandelion Farms is owned by Beth Schiller and is a MOFGA certified organic farm that promotes community and a healthy farm to table lifestyle.
            After hearing about the opportunity, I thought it would be perfect for me and would provide experience and insight into agriculture that would feed into my studio practice. I applied with a resume, cover letter, essay, and portfolio and was given a tentative acceptance several weeks later. I was later given a final interview by Watershed’s studio manager, Reeder Fahnestock , who was also my direct supervisor, and officially accepted as one of two interns for a three week session. I was able to fund the trip through the Meyerhoff Internship Fellowship.

            As an intern, I worked as a studio assistant for Watershed, performing the same duties as the summer studio staff. These duties ranged from grounds keeping to making clay to reorganizing and relabeling dry materials to checking in with resident artists and making sure that the studio is working for them. On the Farm, I was also inducted into the staff and into the regular schedule of the day, working with the apprentices daily on every part of the farming process. I regularly harvested crops as well as seeded and transplanted them. I also participated in creating structures to protect the plants from harsh weather and bug infestations. Of the whole experience I have to say that I am proud of being able to keep up with the staff in both organizations, but specifically at the farm. It was relentless, hard work and I walked away feeling very satisfied with myself for rising up to that challenge.

            Above all, I left the internship with a wealth of knowledge. From interacting with the residents, about 15 artists from all over the country, I gained insight into life as an artist after school that I felt was very important to learn directly. Learning about their career paths was very helpful, as was hearing about the career history of the farm apprentices and the opportunities there. While I still maintain very loose career goals, I feel that this experience has simply expanded my horizons. For example, I never would have seen myself wanting to farm and now I want to explore this line of work after school. As a student, I intend to further explore the connection between food and ceramics, using the new vocabulary that I’m gained from this experience, and I am very grateful to have participated in this internship for this clarified focus. 

National Aquarium Conservation Education

My name is Heather Mortimer and I major in Interdisciplinary Sculpture. I first experienced the National Aquarium as a child who loved the ocean. This led me to volunteer through their Student Summer Program while attending High School. I enjoyed the experience so much that I continued as an adult volunteer after the program ended. Of course, it seemed like a no-brainer for my first internship to be through the Aquarium. It was hard to choose which internship I wanted to apply for but I eventually decided that I was most drawn to Conservation Education. I was asked to answer a few more questions and then informed that I would be completing an internship for the Summer of 2014.

Despite already spending a year volunteering with the Aquarium, I didn’t quite realize how large their education department was. My supervisor, who works in Formal Education, informed me that I would also be working with Visitor Programs and School Programs. I started out primarily in Formal Education because it was “Field Season.” In other words, almost every day they were taking students from the Aquapartners Program on field trips to either Fort McHenry or Sandy Point. After spending a week with Formal Education, I started shadowing with Visitor Programs, the department that teaches visitors inside the Aquarium. I was trained on Water Safety, Animal Handling, Interpretive Teaching, and a variety of Carts and other Educational Tools. I was also invited on special trips such as Osprey Banding and kayaking, as well as Shadow Days, where I spent the morning with another department such as Exhibits and Design or Australia. It felt like every day I was doing something new. I even completed a teacher workshop for the Project WET Activity Guide. I had the opportunity to teach an activity and received my own copy of the guide by completing the course.

I’ve learned so much these past few months. I can now calmly handle a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach while talking to visitors, keeping the animal safe, managing the crowd, watching the carrier with the other cockroach, making sure people use the hand sanitizer, and getting to the conservation message. I know how to reassure a child who is concerned about endangered animals that there are adults working to protect that animal and that they can help too just by shutting the water off while they brush their teeth. I can get a group of excited 5th graders to focus their attention on a discussion about oyster reefs. I think the most important part of my internship was learning where my interests fit in, and what opportunities are out there. I was able to experience teaching in a variety of settings, as well as see firsthand what goes into creating an institution like the National Aquarium. From the big idea for a multi-million dollar exhibit to how we’re going to interpret a model of a shark with a conservation message. I’m sure that my interpretive training will benefit the effectiveness of my art and that what I have learned will appear in its content.

Jonathan Adler

    My name is Rose Love and I am a Sophomore Interdisciplinary Sculpture major. Jonathan Adler started out as a ceramic designer but now designs home goods for the entire home.  He is still very much involved with the design of everything the company does.  He is the spokesman for his brand and he travels around the world promoting his business and himself.  He has become an icon in his industry! He even sits in as a judge on design show panels.  But most important to me he is that he is still very much involved in the design of everything the company makes with his name on it.  My direct supervisor was Melissa.  She was responsible for taking Eddie’s original models and transforming them into a perfect production prototype to send to the factory. These pieces were not finished, they were not glazed.  They were fired and sent on to the factory.  Then there is a discussion about color and glaze.  This information would then be given to the factory in an e-mail. 

What am I most proud of?  Toward the end of my internship I was asked to work on a bowl they had made on my own.  They trusted me to take what I had learned and put it to work with this piece.  On my last day I was able to take off the tape on the piece I had worked on and the result was beautiful and everyone was very very happy!  I also have to say I am proud that I was competent enough to be accepted into the studio and to be allowed to work side by side with some truly amazing people.  When I took this internship I was a bit worried that I would not be comfortable.  That I would be treated like someone at the bottom.  In fact what I fould instead was that everyone at the company from the receptionist to Jonathan himself was always incredibly kind, respectful and helpful.  As  result I felt more confident and more capable which allowed me to grow and learn without any fear.
This internship has made me certain that I want to be a part of the design or art world.  We all come to school with big ideas about who we can be but sometimes when faced with the day to day of that idea you realize you in fact would not be happy.  In my case I am more convinced than ever after this experience that I will end up as a fine artist or maybe a designer.  Having the good fortune to see someone who started from nothing and built an empire on his own while still remaining in touch with what he originally loved…designing was truly inspiring.   I am so happy that I got to work with an amazing group of people.  The people at JA are like a family.  They are all extremely passionate about their work and are all fulfilling their own dreams in their own ways.

Points of Light

My name is Margaret Anne Hines and I am a Art History and Painting double major. In talking to both my art history and painting teachers, I found one common link between the two different professions. Whether I end up writing, researching, teaching, or painting, grant writing is an inevitable aspect to my success in any field I might go in to. When I first started looking for an internship in grant writing I immediately reached out to a good family friend, Elise Eplan, who has extensive experience in philanthropy and non-profit management. Elise Eplan put me in contact with her peer professional, Points of Light’s Executive Director Richard Dubose, who, after talking with me via e-mail and phone, put me in contact with Beth Kargel, Vice Present of Foundations and Government Fundraising. She had never had an intern, but needed the help with her large workload and was open to teaching me the ins and outs of nonprofit fundraising and grant writing. Points of Light (POL) is a Global nonprofit organization that functions as a catalyst for connecting projects with funds and people with volunteer projects. POL is the largest nonprofit in the United States and because of this far reaching national presents, the Foundations sect is pressed to spend just as much energy networking as they do actually
writing grants. Just like in the job-hunting world, nonprofits do very little cold calls; rather success heavily depends on connecting with people in the same employment arena as you.

Beth Kargel, the Vice Present of Foundations and Government Fundraising, is my direct supervisor. Kargel is in charge of all of POL’s foundation and government grants. She holds all the current non-corporate accounts, fosters relationships with the foundations, writes all the foundation and government grants, researches funding opportunities, and briefs all the big successful past grants for internal circulation.

I assist Beth Kargel with most of her assignments. She makes sure to brief me in all the projects, even the ones she doesn’t need help with. I mostly do research for upcoming grants. I also attend a lot of meetings focused on the larger strategic picture of the work Points of Light does. Sometimes I brief former grants for the Foundation Directors or Tracey Wallace, the president of Points of Light. I have been able to answer some questions of current grants and editing Beth Kargel's grants before submission. I am most proud of the professional relationships I have developed in the work place and the hard work I have put into important nonprofit work. My biggest take away has been learning about the current market’s demand for networking in every field. The most important thing that I have learned is my dislike for working long hours in an office, no matter how much I enjoy the projects I’m working on or belief in the company I work for. At least as a long term job.

I feel confident navigating the grant finding and writing process. I am also interested in possibly working in fundraising as a short-term job between undergraduate and graduate school.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Bearded Lady Screenprints

My name is Maya Powell and I am a Printmaking major. In March I began sending internship inquiries to several screen printing, letterpress, and design studios in Minneapolis and Austin, where my parents live. I was hoping to find a small studio that would allow me to do a good amount of hand son learning, as well as the possibility of creating my own print work. I didn’t want to work for a purely commissioned print shop I wanted the employees to be creative people that design some of the work that they produce. Bearded Lady Screenprints, a shop in Austin that fits all of these requirements, replied with interest, as the separations manager is a 2001 MICA graduate. I sent them an online portfolio, as well as my resume, and they accepted me as the summer intern.

My supervisor was Abi Daniel, the separations manager at Bearded Lady (this means she handles the digital files and separates the layers into individual films to be printed as positives). She’s a really talented artist and does freelance illustration work as well. I was mostly given tasks by her or Josh, the owner. Both of them had a good idea of what needed to get done each day, and suggested several things I could do to make that run more smoothly, example: clean a stack of screens, catch t shirts for Cory, check in a new shipment of blank shirts, count out paper to be cut, clean squeegees and tools, check inventory, or price and tag in house inventory.
After a few weeks, I was able to figure out on my own what I needed to do, instead of asking. I also spent a few days printing beer koozies, an exhausting and super fun project. At the end of the internship, I was able to print about 50 tank tops of my own design, as well as a 5 layer double sided poster. Both items are to be sold by myself online.
I absolutely loved my time at Bearded Lady. I learned a tremendous amount about the technical
aspects of the shop, such as how all the presses work, and how they manage keeping 100
screens clean and in order. I also learned a lot about interacting with clients, some of whom
know nothing about the printing process. Not only did I pick up these skills, but I was able to
make my own body of work, an opportunity that I feel very blessed to have been given. I’ve never
made that quantity of shirts or posters before, and it was an incredible experience to be able to
create something so complex and craft it from start to finish. My internship at Bearded Lady was an amazing experience, and it helped solidify and intensify my goal of running a screen print shop in the future.

Roy Cox Photography

My name is Blair Lashley. I am a junior photography major and this past fall 2013 semester I was one of 7 interns at Roy Cox Photography.Roy Cox is a full time self-employed photographer who owns and runs his own studio. He’s a commercial fashion and beauty photographer, but makes most of his everyday living off of portraits of people who need images for their own personal uses like business, modeling, etc.

My responsibility as an intern was to help Roy with his clients. Once the client arrives at the office we help them with any luggage they have. Afterwards we direct them into the studio where they can get into hair and make-up if needed. While the client is prepping for the shoot we steam their clothing if they didn’t hire a stylist. Then we set up Roy’s camera by attaching the pocket wizard, which is a little remote like device that transmits a signal to the lights and tell them to flash when Roy hits the camera’s shutter button. Then we attach his lens put in the batteries and an 8GB memory card. Once everything is set up and ready to go we are allowed to practice shoot with Roy’s equipment until the client is ready.  Once the client is ready, Roy comes in and begins shooting. I assist by adjusting lighting at Roy’s command or fixing the clients clothing or hair as need be.  Once the shoot is finished we help the client get packed up and send them into the office to make their payment. Then the next client comes in and we do it all over again.

The project that I remember the most and I will never forget is when we had to build a grave out of wood for a photograph. A cast from an online web series called Anacostia came in to have the cover image for their second season done. The reason they need this to be standing around a grave was because someone died at the end of the last season but they didn’t want to reveal who.  So we took these wooden crates built them up four feet off the ground in a U shape, and had the cast stand on top of it looking down into the middle as if they were standing around a real grave. We placed dirt around the edges as well to make it seem more realistic. Then to top it all off we added a nice tombstone. This shoot required Roy to lay on the grown in the U shape and shoot upward. This is something I can definitely say I’m proud of, due to the fact that this was a lot of work and it was extremely cold this day but we still got the job done. Roy even said he was thankful for our attendance that day because he couldn’t have done it alone.

This experience helped me to clarify my career goals by showing me every aspect of what being a photographer includes. For example, how to handling booking, how to handle money, how to deal with people, and how to stay organized. Now I know that photography is the only way for me.  

CODE2040 + Jawbone

My name is Jordan Bradley and I am a Junior Interactive Arts major. Applying to CODE2040 was extensive and challenging. The process from start to finish took around 6 months to complete. As a part of the CODE2040 application, I needed to answer several essay questions, complete a technical programming challenge, and pass 2 phone interviews with CODE2040 administration. Even after successfully passing these screenings however, I had only been accepted as a finalist in the program. The second requirement was to secure an internship with a BayArea start up. After CODE2040 accepted me as a finalist, my application was sent off to CODE2040’s network of employers, some of which include Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, Apple, Google, and Uber, among others. Those companies who'd shown interest in my application extended me an offer to interview. I would need to secure a position with one of them to satisfy all the requirements for being admitted as a fellow in the
CODE2040 fellowship. After a total of 6 interviews with Bay Area startups, I was finally offered a
position at Jawbone as a FrontEnd Engineer, and was fully accepted into the program.

As a part of my internship, I was tasked with rearchitecting the front end of one of Jawbone's developerfacing applications. The revamped developer application would allow third party developers to create apps for Jawbone’s UP24 fitness band through an improved frontend experience. First, the application went through a visual design process. Through each step, I sat in on meetings to discuss the direction of the design and weigh in on its functional implications. Throughout the design meetings, I needed to brainstorm what would be necessary to make the designs fully functional. In parallel to this design process, I took the visual design wireframes and began developing an information architecture. Given the data associated with a developer as he accesses his account through our application, I needed to design a way to best model the data programmatically so that a users information could generated efficiently on the server and rendered on the user's account.

Overall, I'm mostly proud of myself for making it through this experience. Aside from gaining connections, and learning more about my future career goals, I have become stronger as a person through my experience with CODE2040 and Jawbone. Throughout the course of the summer I have grown through several personal challenges, and work experiences that had never encountered before arriving in the Bay Area. I can confidently leave San Francisco as a more experienced engineer, entrepreneur, and young man, ready to take on what ever challenges await me at the next level of my career.