My name is Chelsea Gracyalny and I am a senior Film and Video major. During the Fall semester of 2014 I was a studio intern for professional artist Hadieh Shafie. Hadieh is a friend of the family and I was familiar with some of her artwork. I researched Hadieh to learn more about her professional life and her artist statements. I reached out to her over the summer to see if she would be interested in having me as an intern and if she was working on anything that she might want help with.
She said that she had been looking for interns and had an exhibition coming up in February of 2015. We corresponded through email and I sent her a copy of my resume, which included a link to some of my work. We arranged a time to meet in her studio to discuss the kinds of work that I would be doing and how we would coordinate our schedules, and then it was decided that I would be working for her in the Fall.
The show in February will comprise of 15 works total. This includes a variety of drawings, framed paper pieces, and structural floor pieces. Hadieh’s work maintains a theme of written language, paper and color. Most of her work begins as paper that she writes on, in Farsi text. After the writing is completed, the edges of the papers are painted and dried. Some of the material she leaves flat and shuffles into different color combinations and then binds them together. Some of the paper is rolled into scrolls. The paper, both scrolled and shuffled are arranged and glued into a wooden frame. Some of the frames are circular, some rectangular and some resembling cubes with spiked surfaces. Her husband collaborates in the process of making the work and builds the frames in the woodshop in her studio.
My tasks included gridding paper to prep for drawings, painting designs on the drawings, painting and drying edges of the paper, rolling the paper into scrolls, and shuffling the paper to create different color combinations. Everything that I was trained in was how to handle the materials and produce handmade work with the paper.
I am proud of my ability to work quickly and diligently in order to help Hadieh meet her goals on time. This internship gave me insight into the life of an artist and realizing that it takes more than just creativity, it takes, planning, teamwork, time management and most of all discipline. It is very rewarding to be working with someone of such success and talent. It is inspiring to see her work progress from start to finish. It is a privilege to be working with Hadieh and to be able to see some of my participation in a professional exhibition. This internship has helped me realize the kind of work that I enjoy and has given me more direction in what kinds of jobs I may want to apply for after graduation.