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FSU Art BFA ’16 Courtney Sisko Interns with Professor Mark Messersmith

Published March 11, 2015

Exploring the FSU research catamaran

I decided to pursue an internship this semester because I thought that gaining some work experience related to art would be both beneficial and fun. At first when researching for art internships I was overwhelmed trying to find something that I thought would be right for me. However, when I spoke to my academic advisor, she mentioned that if I had a relationship with any of my professors I was welcome to speak with them about completing an internship under their supervision. As it so happened, I had just the professor in mind.

Almost every semester I have been able to take a class with Mark Messersmith. I was amazed the first time I took a class with him (my first art class at FSU) because I actually learned from it- in high school my art education was limited to my teacher giving us a vague assignment and us completing it without much, if any, direction.
So when I heard that I could do an internship with one of my professors, I spoke with him.
He had been asked to teach a drawing workshop at the FSU Marine and Coastal Lab for their Art in Nature workshop series. They do workshops and lectures to draw community interest and allow participants (anyone can participate!) to both learn and have fun in a biologically diverse setting. Mark decided that for my internship I would help plan and teach the workshop, and since I am interested in both art and science, I was thrilled at the opportunity.

The FSU catamaran from the outside

The FSU catamaran from the outside

When I started this internship a couple of my goals were to explore subject matter directly related to what I’m interested in and to gain some experience teaching as I am interested in a career involving education. I have always been interested in both art and science and I think my artwork reflects that. This has been a wonderful chance to explore the FSU Coastal and Marine Laboratory and see what they do and study there, and consequently exposing me to a whole new range of subject matter for my artwork.

Early in the fall I will be helping teach the workshop. Until then I am helping make decisions about the class: how many people should be allowed, should we charge a fee, what should the subject matter be, and so on. It has been eye opening about how much thought and decision-making goes into setting up a workshop- I had never really thought about it before.

The experiences that I will gain and have gained already with this internship will be extremely helpful to me for the future. It’s allowed me to think about art in new ways and will give me experience doing something I am interested in as a career. It has also allowed me to work alongside one of my favorite professors! I hope to go on to grad school in the future and I think these experiences will help me further my artwork and a potential career in education.