Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Walters Art Museum

I am a senior photography major here at MICA. I found out about this internship opportunity from researching on the Walters’ website last semester. I was immediately interested and started making a cover letter and sprucing up my resume right away. Over winter break I received an email from Kate Blanch, my internship coordinator, saying that she felt I fit the position and wanted to conduct a phone interview within the following week. The interview went very well and she told me I could start my internship in January!

The Walters Art Museum is a non-profit organization that was started from Henry Walters’ own art collection. At the Walters I was a Conservation Digitization Intern working on the Kress Grant Digitization Project, which focused on 17th century classical paintings. My duties were to digitize and catalog the documents related to Conservation. Any time the department cleans or x rays or repairs a painting they have documents and photographs that correspond with everything they do to each painting.  My process was to pull the file, scan all photographs and exam sheets, name each individual file, upload them to the cataloging software called Conservation Tracker, label each file as “Digitized” with a time stamp, and then return the file.

This experience gave me the opportunity to strengthen my computer skills (I used PCs mostly, which I am not as familiar with) and helped me establish an efficient workflow. I also just really enjoyed being able to see a museum from the inside and experience a small part of what goes into such and organization. Kate Blanch, my supervisor, was always very helpful but also allowed me to work independently, which was a nice balance.

The most important thing I’ve learned is just the importance of internship and how valuable they are in furthering your career. I got very hands-on experience and a great reference for any application I have in future jobs.  This experience has only made me want to pursue a career in the museum field more!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Globe Collection & Press

My name is Richelle Vargas and I am a junior Interactive Arts major as well as an MAT student. During the 2014 spring semester, I interned with the Globe Collection & Press at MICA. The initial driving motivation to apply to the internship was to have it count as my printmaking pre-requisite for the MAT program, and I thought what better way to learn letterpress than to learn it from a historical company. In 2011, MICA bought the Globe Poster Printing Corporation’s Collection, which was established in 1929, after it closed its doors in 2010. Globe represents an important piece of Baltimore’s entertainment history as they printed posters for drag races, burlesque shows, carnivals, go-go acts, and R&B, soul, and jazz performers. The Collection is now housed in the letterpress studio in the Dolphin Building. Globe Collection & Press at MICA aims to preserve the collection and have Globe’s style and name live on.

I discovered the internship opportunity early in the fall semester after seeing the brightly colored and bold type posters displayed around campus. I attended the info session and discovered more reasons I wanted to be a part of Globe, such as learning a tactile form of graphic design and helping in the preservation of a historical company. My direct supervisor was Allison Fisher. As a part of the Friends of Globe, a group of MICA students fighting for Globe’s preservation, Allison directly helped persuade MICA to acquire Globe’s collection in her senior year. As well as being used for letterpress classes, the collection lives on as an active press. Globe Collection & Press continues to make posters for events and for private clients too.

During my internship I worked on several client projects like the Lazarus Legacy poster, the Exhibition Development Seminar’s Workin’ The Tease Burlesque posters, a wedding invitation poster, and a poster for the Neighborhood Design Center. In addition, I also worked on projects for Globe such as Globe style Valentine’s Day cards and Globe style recipe cards. My role in each of these projects varied but I was able to experience the whole process of making posters for a client from beginning to end. A few things I had a hand in, for example, were setting type, preparing a form for printing, working the presses, and screenprinting.

I am most proud of the collaborative project my partner, Hana, and I completed as well as the keen eye for quality I developed. We designed eight recipe card designs with accompanying food category cards and then screenprinted and letterpressed them. These will now be sold on Globe’s Etsy. It is so great to see the cards outside of the computer screen and finally completed after all the hours and physical labor we invested into them. There is also a sense of pride in being able to say that we made them with our own hands and made a high quality product. The sense of graphic design that I gained from this experience will benefit any interactive arts I make, especially my web based works. I also developed a more disciplined work style that I can bring into my teaching practice. As an intern, I was working as part of a team to make work that represented a whole company, so the quality and amount of work I helped produced needed to be top notch. As a teacher, I will work with a team within my department to provide a rich education for our students.