Working in the setting of a gallery has always been a goal and interest of mine – let alone working in a museum. I noticed that I first acquired an interest in pursuing art by visiting museums, rather than trying to make it. When I first started at FSU last year, I had a friend who interned at the Museum of Fine Arts to the Senior Preparator, Wayne Vonada. She informed me that she was essentially learning about everything that went into putting up and putting together a show in a museum – from preparation to installation to de-installation (and repeat) – and that’s exactly what I’ve been learning so far in my own personal experience.
Initially upon starting this internship, I was hoping to learn a number of things – not just because it may be nice to work in a museum one day – but because I personally felt that understanding how to put up a show is really essential to being a successful artist. On my first day, we were already starting to hang and curate the 2015 Annual Faculty Show – it was a literal swan dive into the whole experience. I thought it’d be a bit easier than I anticipated, but there’s a true science and methodology to everything that’s done behind the scenes of a pristine show. I also wanted to perhaps gain a better theoretical understanding about making curatorial decisions because my own personal work relies heavily on installation and curation itself, but we’re still working on that.
One of the biggest challenges I’m experiencing in museum work, especially installation of shows, is that time is never really working in your favor, and it is often sparse and cryptic. The shows are scheduled far in advance, and once the show you’ve finished installing opens, it’s time to begin work on the next one – it’s just like the deadlines that we face as art students; when we complete a work, it’s time to begin the next. There is no time for breaks.
In the near future, I’m looking at interning with a working artist in either Chicago or Minneapolis, because I’m starting to think it might be a good idea to see how artists work now that I’m getting the gist of what goes into a show.