from FSU Art BFA ’21 Keilana Hoffstetter :
Having the opportunity to intern at Unrequited Leisure, an artist-run gallery in Nashville, Tennessee, this summer has been a welcoming experience during the continually changing year. The gallery hosted shows with a focus on emerging and mid-career artists. Due to the pandemic, the gallery hosted its shows online. Having the opportunity to see how to curate and manage a digital space has been a learning experience that I will take with me as I look into my graduate studies. I have always been interested in gallery curation but never had the opportunity to emerge myself in it. This internship provided me with my first insight into how the gallery’s function, curate, and grow- especially in a rapidly changing environment. As an intern, my responsibilities included working in a WordPress-based web environment to help catalog and develop promotional content for upcoming shows and create and achieve for past shows.
I worked on the gallery`s social media presence and found emerging artists who have inspired me in my practice. Seeing the artists who submitted work to the gallery`s shows was inspiring as well. I was able to expand my perspective on experimental approaches to creating pieces on critical subjects. Seeing how more established artists adapted to the digital shift inspired me. It provided me with a different perspective on how to navigate being a practicing artist in these constantly changing times. Some challenges I faced during the internship was managing the content shared with the rapidly evolving events occurring. On some occasions, content had to be altered, or announcements had to be pushed back to allow more urgent messages to be heard and seen. This taught me essential time management and adapting skills to incorporate into my practice and work.
Having the opportunity to research and learn about a robust number of artists from different disciplines provided me with insight and inspiration to create new ways. I have been incorporating techniques I observed from other artists into my work and have been inspired to venture into more daunting pieces, ultimately pushing me out of my comfort zone and growing as an artist and person. During the times of quarantine and constantly changing events, interning at Unrequited Leisure has been a beneficial experience that has kept me focused on my practice and has left me feeling invigorated and inspired to return to my studio in Tallahassee. I highly recommend this internship to other students interested in learning about curation and managing a gallery while being a practicing artist.