Walking into the Burchfield Penney Art Center for the first day of my internship in the archives was terrifying. This was my first internship in Buffalo, and I didn’t know anyone. For someone with horrible social anxiety, this was quite the feat. My heart was pounding so fast as I made my way to the security door to get my parking pass and sign in. Thankfully, my supervisor was outside, which was a huge relief to me. She walked me through the process of signing in, and started us off on the adventure of meeting a lot of the administrative staff at the Burchfield Penney. My world was soon filled with smiling faces and warm greetings from the staff.
After the whirlwind of names and faces, we whipped into the archives, where I will be working for this whole semester. This quiet, temperature controlled paradise is perfect for an introvert like me. I made a mental note to always bring a sweater. My tasks that day included helping to put away artists’ files in the archives, beginning to work on a new exhibition, called the New Local Artists Project, and I began to check up on the progress of the Living Legacy Project. I had to check their website and files saved onto the computer to see which artists had completed biographies, interviews, and videos. That day, I began gathering information to write a biography for a local artist named Craig LaRotonda. I listened to a very interesting interview done by the Burchfield Penney.
My second day was filled with research on Craig LaRotonda. I completed his biography midday, and my supervisor thought I did a very good job. I was very surprised because I am not a confident writer. After I finished, I was able to go view some of LaRotonda’s work that was on display. It was really cool to see the art of someone who I had spent so much time doing research on, and I felt so connected with the art, even though it wasn’t a style of art that I didn’t particularly like. Feeling inspired, I was then able to complete another biography for a woman who was a very successful art dealer. Her story was so inspiring that words just flowed onto the paper.
I’m so excited to continue to create biographies for all of these artists who have all led such interesting lives, and I’m excited to see how else this internship pushes me, both professionally and personally.