The Center for Visual Arts – Lee Gallery at Clemson University is known to be a catalyst for showcasing the research of art students, faculty, national and international artists. What is not commonly known is that it also offers an internship opportunities to Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) students. The program is run by the gallery director, Denise Woodward-Detrich. Student interns gain hands on experience and professional development by working on real life projects. Students also receive custom course credit based on hours not to mention valuable experience to put on their resume.
The program involves students researching and writing about artists and events, handling artwork, welcoming guests, and preparing interviews for artist visits. This semester, 11 student interns have worked on a variety of projects on campus in addition to traveling to art lectures and artist studios. One visit even included Skype meeting with the Director of the Andy Warhol Museum.
Earlier this semester, interns learned to hang frames for the installation of the most recent student juried show, Connections and Conversations. This exhibit is currently on display in the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities Dean’s office. They also drafted questions for a studio visit with David Detrich after representing Clemson in a forum on public art at the Anderson Arts Center the previous week.
Interns, Hannah Cartee and Leah Brazell developed and delivered a gallery talk with interactive activities to almost 50 middle school students. Activities took place at a permanent art installation in Hardin Hall and at MFA alumnus, Richard Lou’s, Stories On My Back installation in the Lee Gallery. Additional projects include introducing visiting artist, Richard Lou at his artist talk and writing an article for the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) thesis exhibition, Solastalgia, which is scheduled to open in the Lee Gallery later this month on Monday, Oct, 31.
Most recently, student interns, Johnny Murphy and Caroline Herring prepared condition reports for the Foundations exhibit. In addition, Hannah Cartee and Leah Brazell worked in the woodshop to make frames for an upcoming photography exhibit in the spring.
Interns not only execute tasks for the Lee Gallery, but also learn by preparing future projects which is an essential practice of gallery work. Reliability, efficiency, and knowledge of art are all characteristics displayed by good interns. Lee Gallery functions with the contribution of the student interns, who in turn, benefit by gaining rich professional skills of hands on activities and communications as undergraduates.