Before 621 Gallery, I had never had an internship before and I was not exactly sure what it would consist of. However, once I started the job I quickly found out. My responsibilities ranged from painting gallery walls and filling in holes to labeling and taking note of the works received from artists. Every single day I spent at the gallery was different. One day I could be in the back storage organizing materials and then the next I could be staff at an opening answering questions and talking to guests. This meant that there were times when I would be covered in paint and times when I wore a tie but I enjoyed it all and it brought many opportunities for growth. I gained a lot of knowledge from this experience and I owe a great deal of it to Lauren Baker’s guidance; Lauren is the executive director of 621 Gallery. I learned about the process and work that goes into organizing an art opening. It takes a lot to do a new show every month, and it’s all about constant turnover. One minute your painting a beautiful orange wall in the gallery and then the next your covering it up with white paint to showcase something else. I learned how to label artworks and number things accordingly for art auctions, how to change the positioning of lights to make certain work stand out, and I even learned about posting information on social media to promote the gallery.
While the work is always rewarding there are always going to be challenges that come along. For me, I had a hard time when it came to transactions and opening nights. During a first Friday opening night, so many people would be flowing in and out of the gallery asking questions and trying to buy things. It was hard to attend to everyone. People would come in and ask to purchase something from the shop and when I was trying to help them and process the transaction someone else would come in wanting to buy something or ask a bunch of questions and I would struggle to get to them in a professional rate. Eventually, I learned the system and I was more organized, but at first opening night really was overwhelming for me. I learned to love opening nights and the mass amounts of people that would come through to appreciate the works. I met a lot of people and made connections. One of my most memorable moments was working during auction night. I had decided to participate as well and put a screen print into the silent auction. I remember passing out flyers and answering questions when I saw two people going back and forth bidding on my work, It was the coolest thing. The work eventually sold and I was really proud, I had never participated in something like that before.
To anyone who enjoys art and the process of showcasing it, an internship at 621 Gallery is a great place to acquire knowledge. You’ll take pride in being a part of a group that cares so much about the local community and sharing the creative process of a wide range of diverse artists. This internship taught me skills that I could have only learned firsthand while on the job. It is an experience I will always remember and look back on throughout my life.