Fall 2011: Intern Christina Naruszewicz works in the Gardiner Gallery

Last semester we had three interns working with the OSUMA: Skylar Smith, Caitlin Smith, and today’s author, Christina Naruszewicz. Christina, a senior Studio Art major, was not only our intern last semester—she was also one of the artists featured in the Gardiner Gallery.  As a graduating senior receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, Christina’s work was part of the Fall 2011 Studio Capstone exhibition. In today’s post, she talks about her internship experience working in the Gardiner Gallery, as well as our intern field trip, which we blogged about last fall.

In the short time I’ve had to work with the internship program I have learned what feels like years’ worth of experience. The program has afforded me new opportunities and knowledge. Some of the most useful information to me was my experience seeing the gallery/artist relationship. Seeing what was expected of the artist when providing information such as object lists and special installation instructions helped me become more familiar with what is expected from me when I apply for gallery shows in the future.

Christina working on her first installation in the Gardiner Art Gallery, "Divided Vision: David Morrison and Bonnie Stahlecker."

Likewise, I learned what I should expect from a professional gallery. Handling art work properly and with care were most stressed upon me during the internship. As someone who aspires to become a working artist, this area of the internship was very important to me. I’ve learned through the gallery experience to provide very clear instructions on how to hang and manage my own art work, to make life easier for both myself and gallery technicians.

Christina with painting professor Liz Roth, during the installation of the Senior Capstone exhibition.

By far the most enjoyable and rewarding experience I had with the internship was the trip we made to the Tulsa area to explore galleries and museums. I really enjoyed getting the insider’s experience of how a museum works, especially exploring the storage facilities. It was interesting to see how museums acquire new artwork through donation processes. One thing that really surprised me was how much artwork the museum has to sift through to decide what pieces fit their collection. I also learned a lot about how curators at museums decide how to put a show together, and how long the process takes from start to finish.

A view of the Faculty Exhibition after installation was complete.

The gallery tour was also really interesting. I loved having Ms. Pierson explain to us about how she came about owning a gallery. It was refreshing to hear that she experienced a lot in her life and came to own the gallery through a very interesting journey. It made me feel like it was possible to get a career in the arts even if it takes a lot of hard work. I also enjoyed learning about how she chooses what pieces to put in the gallery, how to price them, and what sort of cut she takes.

Installation view of "Displacements: Recent Work by Jonathan Hils." This exhibition included a sculpture located downtown at the Stillwater Public Library.

Overall, I would say the internship was a valuable experience. I feel much more confident going out into the world because I have a lot of firsthand experiences in my career field. It makes me feel like I have more of a chance getting my foot in the door, even though I know I still have a lot to learn.

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About osucurator

Louise Siddons is Associate Professor of Art History at Oklahoma State University and founding curator of the Oklahoma State University Museum of Art. She maintains this blog as a record of her students' work with the Museum's permanent collection as well as more generally with topics related to museum studies.
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