from FSU Art BFA ’20 Ariel Raskin:
I have been interning at the Council on Culture and the Arts for almost a year now, and I am deeply saddened at the thought of my experience coming to an end. I never imagined all the things I would learn, especially because I was taking a leap into an unknown area. I thought that because I was studying to be an artist, that I knew everything about art. But when it comes to administration, curation, and public relations, I had much more to learn.
COCA has taught me how large a role art plays in our community and in our public-school systems, both on a large scale and individually. I have learned the importance of giving people within the community a creative outlet and how necessary that is to help a wonderful group of people feel accomplished and proud. I worked with local artists of all ages to create dynamic shows that showcase works in many different mediums. I also learned about all the ways COCA helps enhance the arts within the public-school system, providing opportunities for shows, local community events, and resources, all to give children different ways to access the arts.
I have experienced what it is like to work one on one with a student and watch them grow as art impacted their life in different ways. Since September, I have been a part of a mentorship program at RAA Middle School working with a sixth grader every week. We talked about the art class she was in, art history and what my classes were like. We also worked on projects together like Zentangle drawings or paper mache. Just because I studied art did not mean I knew anything about the administration side of things, but I was eager to learn, and I am so very glad that I did. I now know how to create and curate a show from start to finish, and how to work with local artists and schools in order to provide equal opportunities. Most importantly, I learned how crucial of a role art plays to cultivate a flourishing and diverse community that is not just made up of college students studying contemporary art. I will be forever grateful for the time I spent at COCA working under an extremely talented and caring group of people.