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FSU BA ’16 Colleen O’Neill Interns with 621 Gallery

Published October 22, 2014

Colleen O'NeillBeing in my senior year, I knew I had to take on experience before entering the work force. Fortunately, I have about a year and a half left to graduate, so I plan on doing as many internships as possible. I figured I would start out interning at a gallery since I am a Painting and Drawing major. I knew that it would be important knowing behind-the-scenes work of a gallery. After going over my options here in Tallahassee, I chose the 621 Gallery at Railroad Square as my first internship.
With good references, I got my position as the webmaster, gardener, and curator for the Winter Festival this December. Within a week I was given a few graphic design projects and later given a Graphic Design title. Within 2-3 weeks of working at 621, my manager pulled me aside and told me she thought highly of my work and wanted me as her assistant.
My major goal is learning all behind-the-scenes work that happens here at 621. Working at the gallery has been a lot of hard work but getting a taste of it has been a major eye opener. I had no idea it took so much manual labor and thorough planning into hosting events and running the space. I have been cleaning out shelves, plastic boxes, paperwork, and kitchen materials, sweeping and moping floors, cleaning bathrooms, and spackling and painting the walls along with my fellow interns. We were preparing for our First Friday in September.

When all the nitty-gritty work cooled off, I started working on my next major goal: managing the website and working on graphic design material. I started working on the postcards for our Auction event and the banners for our website. I was in charge of collecting Auction bid numbers for the silent auction and I was the vanna for the live auction. I enjoyed interacting with the public on both nights, I saw how important it is to be prepared for the unexpected questions people ask. Currently I am working on the layout of the garden, choosing the appropriate plants and visuals. I am also working on our upcoming November exhibition by preparing the online banners. I am also creating a flyer and collecting emails for a dance movement class offered in the 621 Annex.
Although I do not have extensive experience with web and graphic design, I have managed to guide myself through the process by doing my own research. It usually takes me longer to navigate through the website process and design in general than it would if I had more experience. I never realized how much thought goes into advertising until I started working on postcards and flyers. So both my manager and I have had to be patient with each other as we go through this learning process.
My future goals are to intern at a museum, school or at gallery in another city, state, or country. I am not exactly sure what I envision my set career to be, but I am looking forward to getting a certificate in teaching English as a second language abroad and doing my art on the side. So far this is my dream job. Another dream job would be being an Art Director for a graphic design company or owning my own business where I sell my work.