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.