I have had the wonderful opportunity to intern with environmental artist Mary Miss and her studio, City as Living Laboratory (CaLL) in New York this summer. Mary is best known for her site-specific works such as South Cove and FLOW: Can You See the River?, which address the local environment and our relationship to it. My experience working with everyone at the studio was wonderful and I gained many new skills. My responsibilities included many office-type duties such as printing, mailing, updating databases, etc., as well as attending the walks the studio facilitates and helping to come up with ways to get more people involved. I also had the opportunity to sit in on two studio meetings, which gave me a better understanding of how everyone in the studio works together, as well as what issues the studio runs into and how they solve them. Some of my most frustrating challenges were figuring out how to work with the database program and solving issues that arose as I helped to studio organize the information in the database. I eventually solved these issues by researching online and experimenting with the program and was able to show other people in the studio how to use the program.
My main goal for this internship was to learn how Mary Miss, as a successful environmental artist, has engaged and educated the public about current environmental issues and their potential solutions. To achieve this goal I made an effort to educate myself on everything Mary Miss and her studio were doing and to be as involved as I could be while I was there as well as once I left. If there was anything I didn’t understand or didn’t know about, I asked questions. I also spoke with Mary to ask her specific questions about her practice, and have made arrangements with someone who works at the studio to work on Mary’s Wikipedia page from home.
My other goal for this internship was to make connections with the people I worked with at the studio and other people involved with CaLL so that I can reach out to them in the future. I feel good about the work I did at the studio and I am confident that my time there was both helpful and appreciated. I made good connections with the other people who I worked with at the studio and will continue to keep in contact with them.
Although it’s difficult to describe through goals, challenges, and projects I worked on, I gained a lot from my experience interning with CaLL, and truly appreciate the opportunity. The experience of working and living in New York was itself impactful, and I gained a lot just from being in the studio. I was sad to leave after only six weeks but I am anxious to finish school and hope to work with Mary Miss and CaLL in the future, hopefully as a collaborator with a similar practice.