Leaving my internship for the last time was a very bittersweet moment. For one, it meant that I was that much closer to graduating, and I had gained a lot of experience in a field that really interests me, but it also meant leaving an organization that I really found a home at. Burchfield Penney Art Center taught me so much about what it’s like working at a not-for-profit, and working in an archival setting. More importantly, it taught me how to be more assertive, and to take tasks and run with them, and have confidence doing it.
My supervisor, Heather, was amazing. She was very good at integrating me into the team that she already had, filled with other interns, and staff members. Even though she had a lot of interns, she made sure to have meaningful conversations with each one of us and made sure that any questions we had were answered. This internship showed me what kind of boss I’d like to work for in the future. For me, being recognized matters, and feeling appreciated for the work that I have done is really important, because if I feel like I’m doing a lot and not feeling appreciated, I start feeling like my work doesn’t matter. Heather showed so much appreciation for everything the other interns and I did, and made sure we knew it.
I enjoyed the work I did at Burchfield Penney a lot. I wrote biographies for living artists for the Living Legacy Project on the Burchfield Penney website. I enjoyed this task because I was able to go and hunt down information on the different people that I was writing biographies for, and I learned a lot about their art, and how they started out. Through this, I developed a bigger appreciation for modern art, which I have never really understood, but I now understand better because I was able to get more context on their work, and why they made it that way. I was also responsible for transcribing audio interviews from their website. This was probably the most tedious thing I had to do, and something that I was the least confident in. I was also able to edit audio interviews for the website, and learn how to use Adobe Audition, a new software for me. My biggest project this semester was working on a catalogue raisonné for Charles Burchfield. Through this, I was able to learn more about researching while trying to find all of the available information on different pieces of Burchfield’s works. For those of you reading who don’t know, a catalogue raisonné is a collection of information on all known pieces of an artist’s work. I also learned through this project how to input data into their online database.
I had a really lovely time working at the Burchfield Penney, and I hope my path leads me back there someday!