The Record

Exploring the art world through internships

Priyanka Voruganti (10) teaches theater in India.

Priyanka Voruganti (10) teaches theater in India.

Priyanka Voruganti (10) teaches theater in India.

Amelia Feiner, Staff Writer

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These students brought their artistic talent and knowledge to arts internships, exploring their passions for a variety of art forms. In addition to creative skills like curating exhibits and producing songs, students learned about the business and administrative aspects behind the art world.

The school’s classes helped inspire interests in continuing work in the arts over the summer. Bleiberg was inspired to continue learning about art over the summer because of her experience in an art history class.

“Contemporary Art History with Dr. Hetherington has been without a doubt one of my favorite classes at HM,” Bleiberg said. “I love that we are required to take art appreciation classes because I think a lot of people are exposed to areas they never even knew they would be interested in,” she said.

Sofia Gonzalez (12) applied for an art internship after she felt she had exhausted most of the school’s art curriculum.

Gonzalez interned at the TWNZ showroom where she learned about the fashion industry. “It was a good balance of creative projects and administrative tasks; sometimes I would go out to do research and scope out potential buyers, other days I would email clients or do inventory,” she said.

Bleiberg interned at The Frick Collection. She participated in writing and producing a research analysis of a Gainsborough painting for the Educational Department by using historical context as well as analytical tactics that she learned during the school year.

Bleiberg’s summer work has pushed her to a new level of thinking and questioning. She is excited to bring her new knowledge back to the school to motivate herself and classmates even farther during the school year, she said.

While Gonzalez and Bleiberg explored the interpretation and analysis of art, other students focused on the business side of the art industry.

Acting as President of The Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) Nancy Yao Maasbach’s intern, Anya Swift (12) found sponsors and created community partnerships for MOCA, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving and presenting the history, heritage, culture, and diverse experiences of Chinese descendants in the United States.

Swift had to go through an application process where she discussed her interest in art and in that specific internship opportunity. Arianna Laufer (12) also underwent an application process, which consisted of many short answer questions that focused on who she is as a person, why she loves art, and why she is qualified for the program.

Laufer worked in the Department of Foundational and Governmental Giving within The Metropolitan Museum of Arts’ (The Met) Development Office. She spent most of her time writing acknowledgment letters to donors and helping with various aspects of the 2018 Fiscal Year Annual Appeal for general operations funds for The Met. 

Her favorite part of the internship was writing a report to the National Endowment for the Arts about an exhibit called Jerusalem 1000-1400: Every People Under Heaven, because she gained stronger writing, fundraising, and networking skills, she said.

“After this internship, I bring a new respect for all the behind-the-scenes aspects of any institution, and I know that I will carry that with me when it comes to all of the amazing work that goes into making our facilities, food, classes, and extracurriculars function so well,” Laufer said.

During her internship, Priyanka Voruganti (10) discovered how much she could learn from other people through art. Voruganti travelled to Delhi, India to work at Apne Aap, a United Nations-affiliated non-profit that encourages girls in India to “help themselves.” Through Apne Aap, Voruganti taught acting classes to groups of underprivileged children in a red light district near Delhi.

In her eight sessions with her students, she tried to relate to her students through her love of theater and was humbled by the girls’ knowledge and passion about female empowerment. She will continue her work during the school year. Next month, she plans to speak at the United Nations General Assembly on the behalf of Apne Aap.

Ethan Matt (12) also got a taste of how his opinions and talents could affect art outside the school community when he produced music at 7 Hills Studio under his good friend Amos Miller. Because of his young age, Matt’s input was valuable to the older Miller. For instance, Matt uses a much more modern, electronic drum sound than Miller.

“In art you can learn a lot from older people, and older people can learn just as much from younger people,” Matt said.

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Exploring the art world through internships