Submitted by students, these are previous internship experiences told first-hand.

Friday, November 30, 2012


My name is Nick Pfaff and I am a senior General Fine Arts Major with a Minor in Art History. Over the summer of 2012 I worked as a Gallery Intern at Artspace, a non- profit organization in New Haven, CT that presents local and national visual art. I have worked and participated in several programs at Artspace since I was in high school. When I took a leave of absence last year I contacted Helen Kauder, the director of the gallery to see if there was any work available for me. I began volunteering a few days a week. I had a variety of obligations and duties. During this time I got to know the inner workings of the organization very well. I stopped volunteering in spring because I was working several other jobs but by the start of summer I was asked to return as a paid intern! 

My new position was to manage Artspace’s Flatfile.  The work is sold in auctions and displayed in shows that are put together by guest curators. I worked closely with curators including one of my interviewees, Tim Young, to develop themes for the Flatfile shows and to choose appropriate work. I installed all of the work for the Flatfile shows. I also worked with artists in assembling portfolios and updating existing portfolios. One of my goals in working on the Flatfile was to purge it of old work, which I packed and shipped back to the artists. I also tried to encourage artists to update and refresh their existing portfolios. My other duties included assisting artists with their own projects in the gallery and managing the Flatfile website. I also took any odd job that was thrown at me.

Artspace continually maintains a Flatfile of affordable two-dimensional and digital work for interested patrons of the gallery. Artists selected for the Flatfile add new work to their portfolios annually, creating an ever-changing, dynamic collection of accessible art. The majority of the collection consists of works on paper, ranging from collage and drawing to lithography and photographs. Small artist's books and digital prints are also a regular component of the Flatfile. Each Flatfile artist has a portfolio containing up to 10 works, generally no larger than 24 x 30 inches.

During my time at Artspace I learned a variety of skills that will not only be useful in finding jobs within the gallery/museum field, but also in my own art practice. I am now much more confident in hanging work, conceptualizing ideas for exhibits and I now know how to collaborate with curators and other artists successfully. I am most proud of the work I did installing pieces in the gallery and off site locations. I take great pride in helping to realize the vision of the artists and curators that I have worked with. I made many lasting connections and friendships with the people I have worked with. I am much more confident in my abilities and value as a prospective employee. Artspace has been an invaluable resource to me for years now and helped to confirm my interest in art and informed my decision to attend art school. I am so fortunate to be a part of the organization and for their continued support and investment in my future.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Charm City Craft Mafia

My name is Liberty Riggs and I'm a Senior Art History Major. Over the summer of 2012 I worked as the 'Intern Extraordinaire' for the Charm City Craft Mafia. The Craft Mafia is an organization comprised of thirteen local artists who, in addition to maintain their own studio practices, work collectively to coordinate two juried art fairs each year; Holiday Heap in December and Pile of Craft in June. This internship position was brought to my attention through an email from my department chair in April of 2012. I submitted my résumé, cover letter, and work samples directly to Carly Goss, the Mafia's internship coordinator, via email. Carly contacted me two days later to schedule an interview for the first week of May. Two days after our informal interview over coffee, Carly contacted me again to offer me the position.

As an intern with the Charm City Craft Mafia, I was responsible for managing several kinds of tasks. My primary function was to be available as a studio intern for each of the thirteen artists. Through this opportunity I was able to experience a number of new techniques, including natural dye processes, weaving techniques, new quilting and painting techniques, among others. My secondary task was to act as a public liaison for the Craft Mafia in preparation for the Pile of Craft Event. I drafted and distributed a press release about the event, contacted authors of community newsletters, and distributed poster and postcard advertisements for the event at local businesses. As part of this role I was also asked to contact select local businesses about donating as sponsors of the event in exchange for a promotional spotlight post on the Mafia blog (which I was then responsible for writing). I was also involved in the set-up and breakdown of Pile of Craft, and manned the information table and raffle ticket sales throughout the event.

My internship with the Charm City Craft Mafia was valuable in so many ways, many of which I did not anticipate. Not only did I gain indispensable professional skills through my preparation for and participation in the Pile of Craft event, as well as being able to learn and experiment in a variety of studio disciplines, this internship also allowed me to learn so much more about Baltimore and the art scene therein. Most of the artists involved in the Mafia have their studios in their homes, so as I worked in each studio I was forced to explore new neighborhoods that I may not have experienced otherwise. Additionally, many of the members participated in many fairs other than Pile of Craft throughout the summer, which gave me the opportunity to work in a series of different commercial environments and situations. The Mafia members themselves gave me thirteen unique, and successful models for creating an artistic career, and I believe that I will keep many of them not only as professional contacts, but lifelong friends.

Mission Media

At Mission Media, I worked as an in house video editor. Todd Harvey was my direct supervisor, while Mark Kubat, who is the Art Director, helped me with the general mood of the videos that I was editing. Everyone in the office was all very helpful during the process of editing all the way until the final videos were completed. The videos that I edited were three STX Golf commercials that are now up on the company’s Facebook page. 

The first video I edited was a little challenging because I had to match the style of the STX Golf videos that were done before. After the first one, I eventually got the sense of how the video should look as a finished product.  After editing the STX Golf videos I moved on to writing a script for the company’s demo reel. I finished writing and blocking out the shots for the demo reel, but by the time to shoot the reel, I was put on another very important project. I then starting working with Nick Midwig who was an independent filmmaker who had been hired to come in and film the Baltimore Zoo Campaign commercials. For a while I assisted him, and now we are editing the videos together. I enjoyed working at Mission Media, and now I work there as a paid part- time employee. Since I was hired, I am now able to continue with the demo reel and other fun projects with the company through my school year.
-Calvin Blue '13, Video

Art With a Heart

My name is Melissa Hecker and I am a sophomore Illustration major with a concentration in Book Arts. I found out about this organization through MICA’s Career Fair. I did some research about Art With a Heart before the Career Fair and I was really interested in their mission. When I went to the Career Fair, I met Jamie and Audrey who are two staff members at AWAH. Jamie is the Program Manager and Audrey is the assistant to the Executive Director. I talked to them about my experience in working with children through being a member of Community Arts Partnership at MICA, and I gave them my resume with all of my art and community related experience. They reviewed my résumé and called me for a second interview. Hillary, the assistant program manager, interviewed me and told me that I am more than qualified, so I got the internship on the spot. Hillary’s job is to create all the lesson plans for the classes, organize the class schedules, and supervise the interns. As an intern, I helped Hillary organize lesson plans. I also made some of my own lessons for the class that I taught as an assistant teacher. 

When I was at the office I worked alongside with some of the summer job kids where I made samples for projects, tested out new projects, cleaned materials, gathered materials for the classes, and helped out in whatever needed to be done quickly and efficiently. I am most of proud of the teaching aspect of the internship. It was really inspiring to work with kids from Baltimore because were very excited about all of the projects. I was able to connect with them through art. There was one project where the students learned about murals and graffiti in Baltimore and the use of inspirational quotes to express an idea. Many students made their projects about success and going to college. This was nice to see kids at such a young age be motivated and inspired from art lessons and the summer program. The most important thing I’ve learned from this internship is how to network with other art resources in the city. I’ve met a lot of local artists who teach art on the side for Art With a Heart. 

The staff at A.W.A.H. wants to hire me as a teacher in the school year for an art class once a month. I am in the process of getting that set up to start working for them on the side. I will have to work around my school schedule, but I am really excited to start working as a teacher again. This has helped me sort my career goals in some ways. If teaching continues to go well, then I would love find more teaching opportunities in Baltimore schools. I am interested in finding ways to improve art education in Baltimore, and I believe I could be a huge impact on students’ lives. I have no greater joy than sharing my passion with kids and young adults who also share a love for art.

Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital’s Art Ability Office

My name is Sarah Hepworth and I am an upcoming Junior Illustration major. This summer, I was an intern at Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital’s Art Ability Office. The hospital provides both physical and cognitive rehabilitation services to its patients for a range of disabilities. Art Ability is a program Bryn Mawr Hospital runs, which focuses on celebrating artists with disabilities by supplying them with galleries to promote, share, and sell their artwork and crafts. The Annual Art Ability Exhibition is an internationally renowned event that the hospital has been hosting for years. Artists must apply and a couple hundred are hand-selected to be a part of the show, out of which a few are presented with awards.

Working in the Art Ability office, my supervisor was Leighton “Mac” McKeithen, the Marketing Director at Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital. I also worked closely with the Art Ability curator, Susanna Saunders. My main responsibilities dealt with the preparation of the Annual Art Ability Exhibition. Beyond various tasks that Susanna gave me to complete daily, I managed the submissions by the artists for the show— both by mail and through the online system, I also had the internship-long project of writing the artists’ profiles for the event’s program book, and created the judging sheet for the jury so they had background information on each of the applicants.

I am extremely proud of my role in being a part of the foundation of this international exhibition. Repeatedly, the curator informed me that I was the only one growing familiar with the artists, so my voice during the jury process actually held a lot of value. For as much as I was able to help the Art Ability program, I got just as much out of it by learning about this more business-focused and structured side of art. Despite not actually making art, I was still able to learn about what art works in certain places, and the key factors curators and companies are looking at when judging and selecting work. This internship experience has helped clarify my career goal by giving me a clue into all of the various components that are valued by businesses, curators, and companies when it comes to their dealing with art. My experience has also allowed me to make connections and network, which I will be able to use in the future for internship and job opportunities.

Romy Scheroder’s Studio Assistant

My name is Sara Dittrich and I am going into junior year as an Interdisciplinary Sculpture major with a culture & politics minor. Over the summer of 2012 I interned in NYC as Romy Scheroder’s artist assistant. Romy is a sculptor whose main medium usually involves manipulating vintage wood chairs. Romy also balances her practice with a full time job as a shoe designer. I lived and worked with Romy for five weeks in Bushwick, Brooklyn. I was introduced to Romy when I stumbled upon her work on a blog called E Minor and I bookmarked the link to her website. Last summer (2011) I sent out emails to artists I had found online asking if any would be interested having an assistant for the summer of 2012. I told them I was a student at MICA and gave them the link to my website. I was surprised how many responses I received back. Romy however seemed the most interested, and I was excited she was located in NYC. I kept in contact with her and met her in NYC over winter break. From there we made plans for me to stay with her in NYC for five weeks of the summer.

In Bushwick I started my internship by helping Romy complete a piece called NP2S, or No Place 2 Sit. It was an installation of oddly joined chairs that was to be installed on Governors island. Romy received a small grant through the Figment foundation to do this piece, and it was part of several other sculptures funded by this organization for the island. It is installed there from June until August. For the opening weekend there was a huge festival on the island full of other artsy activities and performances. After this piece was installed I was tasked with documenting some of Romy’s recent drawings. I also researched registries, grants, and University galleries that might be a good fit for Romy’s work. Romy also took me to several gallery openings and showed me the ways of networking/schmoozing. We also went to an auction where Romy had donated a piece. I also had the chance to meet several other artists and see their own studios. Some of these were Romy’s friends and others I reached out to on my own. All this on top of being able to explore the museums and environment the city offers was very overwhelming and exciting!

I am most proud of the contacts I was able to make while in New York. I met some artists from Prague (where I am planning on studying abroad Spring 2013) and also some woodworkers who make sculptures similar to my own. I believe they will be especially helpful to have in the future and use as a resource. My biggest take-away from my experience is that there are a million ways to be a successful artist in NYC, and no two artists do it quite the same way. Wanting to be an artist living and working in NYC is not as unrealistic of a goal as some people make it out to be. I learned that studio artists all have some kind of side job, whether its commission, part time, or fulltime work.

Above all, my eyes were really opened to the world of NYC, and all the great resources it has to offer. It confirmed that I would like to be a working artist in NYC after I finish school. I would like to get involved with a woodshop there/furniture design collective, or maybe start my own along with pursuing my personal studio work.


My name is Sarah Bushin and I am a Sophomore Animation major. I am also enrolled in the 5 year Masters of Art in Teaching program at MICA. Over the summer of 2012, I interned for Matt Bier, the display coordinator for the Westchester, NY Anthropologie store. I found out about this internship through a friend who had done a similar internship at the Anthropologie in New Jersey. After I heard about the job, I picked up the phone and cold-called the Westchester store. After many attempts, I was able to get through to Matt, who chatted with me on the phone and then set up an interview with me. I nailed the interview and was offered the internship position on the spot!

At Anthropologie I worked with the visual team on various projects, the most significant of which was their summer window display. I got to help with all aspects of this display, which involved not only the planning, but also making the actual art that would be apart of the final display! I also helped out with the various everyday projects such as repainting walls, re-doing sections of the store, and even building new display pieces to display merchandise on.

Personally, I felt my biggest accomplishment was that through Matt’s teaching, I learned how to use a variety of tools that I used to be afraid of, such as electric drills, saws, and nail guns. Learning how to use these tools really broadened my skill set and could definitely influence my future art making.

I have many varied interests like animation, art education, and fine art, which make it hard for me to pinpoint a specific career I want to pursue. This internship helped me get a taste for what a career in a more commercial side of art would be like. I do not want to lock myself into any specific field, and I think doing an internship at Anthropologie helped me learn about a field I had very little knowledge of while teaching me important professional skills like collaborating with a creative team. I made so many great connections through this internship that I feel will be very valuable to me in my future, no matter which career I decide to pursue!