from FSU Art BFA ’20 William Leech:
In spite of the sudden Global-Crisis-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named hitting only a couple of months into my internship, it was a true privilege to work at 621 Gallery, even for a short time. As an artist myself, the opportunity to be a part of the inner mechanism of a gallery space was both enlightening and inspiring; I was tasked with working directly with exhibiting artists to help load and unload (often quite heavy) paintings and other work, and arranging them on the walls as directed. I also designed advertisements for gallery events, promoting them on social media, in an effort to draw the most positive attention possible and encourage people to come engage with and support the gallery.
One of the more surprising challenges I encountered was the difficult balance of drawing in enough revenue to keep the gallery open with the same high standards for exhibitions as always, without coming across as too “commercial.” Given that 621 is a non-profit, and nearly all events and exhibitions are free to the public, it can be difficult to ensure there is a healthy source of income to sustain all of these events. Despite this, however, the patrons of the gallery are very generous and often happy to support such a unique and integral establishment of the community. It was very heartening to come to understand the deep ties the gallery has, and has had for a long time, with the Tallahassee art community and the city at large.
I think that interning at a gallery, especially one as impressive as 621, is an absolute must for anyone interested in pursuing a career related to the arts, and has a lot to offer even to those going down a different career path. Speaking for myself, as someone who wants to see my work exhibited in galleries like 621, it was invaluable to gain an insight into the efforts that go into maintaining such a gallery space. It was also a great feeling to be a part of putting together events and exhibitions that support and grow the local art community, and providing spaces for creatives to have an audience to their work. I hope to carry this experience with me beyond my time at FSU and incorporate what I’ve learned into my own efforts to exhibit my work.