Categories
Post Grad

Center of the Art World

Wow. It has been a month and a half since I have willingly shared my initial thoughts of being in the city. Boy, has a lot changed.

The so-called honeymoon phase of moving to a new place is exciting. You’re embracing not only a new geographical situation but a new cultural world to navigate through. New York is the epitome of endless possibilities. People from all walks of life are condensed into this metropolis. These people offer a bit of their own heart and life into their work, whether that is through street food or a makeshift shop around a city park. I love it.

I love hearing exchanges in all of the languages and accents New Yorkers have to offer. I love walking down the street and not seeing a majority of people that look like me. I love stumbling across unexpected eateries and (appetizing) smells. I love it here.

Which is why I have now become persistent that I live here in the near future for at least a few years. Since arriving to New York I have been looking and applying for jobs in cultural institutions. I am quite determined.


I stand my previous opinion that I thoroughly enjoy the work and environment I have been a part of with the Guggenheim (I am their Membership and Annual Fund spring intern). I never imagined myself being comfortable taking many phone calls with museum members (let alone at the Gugg!) to answer inquiries, renew or upgrade their membership, or redirect their call. I would never know what to expect on the other end.

The other half of my public-facing responsibilities is primarily through emails in the General Membership inbox. There are typically seven different types of emails that come through: general questions regarding upcoming events, an interest of joining/renewing/upgrading membership, update personal info (address or second person’s name on account), tax acknowledgement letter requests, PayPal confirmation receipts, voicemail recordings from missed phone calls, and the outlandish emails that only my supervisor or someone else on the team knows how to handle (there are a lot more than you’d think).

Fortunately, I am able to answer most emails that come through the inbox. I always have my cheat sheet with anything and everything someone could ask about the museum, membership, or upcoming exhibitions. You name it, I’ve most likely answered it. Even if the inquiry is not related to membership what-so-ever. Sometimes people just send an email to the first address they encounter, which is usually membership.

I felt proud and satisfied that I was serving the public in my role, to represent the Guggenheim (still in shock most days!!), and to have such a supportive and positive team. We (Membership and Annual Fund) includes myself, Huong – my super cool supervisor (associate), Laura and Sabrina – a couple of fun gals my age that work at the membership desk at the museum with Joey and Anthony – who also work at the desk, but have yet to meet IRL (membership sales associates), Tay – another super cool person (manager), and last but not least – Brooke (director).

As the membership intern, I also handle small projects that take no more than a couple of hours. These can be going through returned mail and then reaching out to that person for the current and correct mailing address to resend that mail. Or I could be fulfilling mail merges for letters and envelopes (properly printing out these items on letterhead paper and envelopes – which have resulted in many back and forth runs to the printer). Or I could be fulfilling catalogue mailings for particular members that cannot come to the museum to pick it up.

All days have been placed at the FiDi location where most of the museum’s administrative offices are. The museum (referred to by its mailing address number – 1071) only houses on-site staff which includes education, visitor experience, and food service. I used to be self-conscious that I would be the only one speaking on the phone within the block of desks. I quickly moved on from that fear by fully embracing my role, no matter how loudly and clearly I had to speak for someone who needed that on the other end of the line.

At the beginning of my internship the membership team was significantly short-staffed. They were in the process of hiring both full-time and part-time sales associates, and Brooke was on maternity leave for another few weeks. My one-on-one time with Huong was relatively brief. She would spend chunks of time introducing me to specific tasks within Raiser’s Edge, or in the inbox that I would help out with. I knew that over time and constant interaction with these programs and tasks that I would be more confident in this skillset.

After almost two months into my internship, I braved 1071 for a day to experience what the membership desk faces on a daily basis. The museum opens at 10am, which meant I was to be on the floor at 9:30am for the daily huddle of frontline staff for daily announcements. Doors open, but there is no line. People eventually flow in. After a quick bag check and wanding from security, visitors seem to drift over to the membership desk for some reason. Even after reading the literal signs that say membership, visitors will come up to the desk asking to or where to purchase general admission tickets.

The first hour or so was quite slow. We checked in maybe five members? During Sabrina’s break I spent some time clicking around the computer to better understand ClickPoint and how to check-in a member if they came to the desk. In addition to our members, we are also responsible for checking in patrons with an assortment of criteria such as cardholders of a specific credit card program, artists, SUNY-NYC students, members of reciprocal museum institutions, and many more.

With the emergence of the Countryside, The Future exhibition, we (staff engaging directly with the public) have received a number of interesting comments and questions.

After experiencing our front desk and an enjoyable (and cheap!) staff lunch at our restaurant/café – for the time being – I had a meeting with Huong to briefly review mail merging for a new responsibility assigned to the Membership team. If anyone is interested in working at a museum, they have to be flexible and willing to learn quickly. I love a new challenge that requires attention to detail. Shortly after this encounter, our anticipated email was sent out to members and ticket holders for our March Art After Dark.

We had to cancel our event as the city and state started to finally respond to the coronavirus crisis. In turn, we asked ticket holders to either email that they wanted a refund or to donate their ticket value to the Annual Fund. The inbox soon became inundated with short and friendly ‘please refund tickets’ emails with the rare ‘this is ridiculous!’ response. LOL. I was best assisting the team by answering the phone and taking care of non-AAD related emails in the inbox. It was an exhausting day for Huong and Tay as they fought to organize and coordinate refund efforts.

I happened to have been there on March 11, the day before the city-wide announcement was made that all museums would be closed indefinitely thanks to COVID-19. You can read more about my experiences by clicking here.


Outside of my internship I had been finishing up my thesis. To spare frustrating details as well as the effect of COVID-19 over in Italy… I will not be graduating until this August. This is not quite what I had anticipated nor wanted, but in today’s climate it is what’s best for everyone. I will have an additional two months of deliberation with my thesis advisor for edits. My new defense date isn’t even until mid-July.

Fortunately, as a temporary New Yorker, I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Hollander in person to meet with her to get to know her and share more about myself and my project. Over a glass of white wine, I delved into the positives and negatives of my master’s program, my current situation, aspirations for my career, and life lessons that are applicable to anyone. This conversation felt so empowering and liberating that at least someone else understands my predicament and personable to engage with. I am really looking forward to continue working with her!

When I was finally done handling my thesis for awhile, I made time to enjoy New York. I would plan out an entire day for me to walk around, visit some sites, eat good food, and just de-stress. The time I allotted for myself was really important to my mental health. It was the only time I could be social outside of a school and work environment. Yes, I was doing these activities by myself, but I felt energized by the people around me that were just … living life.

In a place like New York it isn’t weird at all to do things by yourself. People ride the subway, go to coffee shops, eat out, go for a walk, etc. all the time by themselves. This was one more reason why I have become so determined to move here. My personality and aptitude to get out and explore and do things by myself was normal. If I did such a thing back home, not only would I probably run into someone I know, but I would get some side-eye depending on where I was.

After living in the chaos of my first city experience – Florence, I couldn’t have done such an extreme case – such as NY what-so-ever. There are weirdos and homeless people everywhere. They were there in Florence too. But I can honestly argue that I have enough street smarts to best handle those situations. The best line of defense? Headphones, sunglasses, and a confident walk. I always wield those tools with me anytime I leave my apartment.

The most terrifying thing I’ve seen on the subway (so far) has been a woman wearing nothing but a wife beater, shuffling around the other end of the car, and making her bed for the time being on a stretch of seats on a C train. She came out of nowhere. Again, best to pretend nothing is happening and mind your own business. From time to time on the subway when there is a performer swinging from the poles, I will give a side glance, breaking my act that I have no idea that that is happening. But I will shortly resume reading The Goldfinch (I feel like I’ve been reading it forever) on my phone, with a slight sideways grin of happiness.

I’m not sure if I am still in the midst of the honeymoon phase or if I have a high resilience to the craziness of New York (specifically Manhattan), but I love it here. I want to stay here. I ❤ NY.

Categories
Post Grad

NYC During the COVID-19 Crisis

Changes disrupting daily life have emerged faster than a New York minute over the past week. In the course of three days the city has begun to shut down. Life as we know it is evolving to the quick changes implemented across the world. But that doesn’t mean people are taking the hint.

Let’s start on Wednesday, March 4. I was offered an extension on my internship that would technically turn into a paid, temp position (yay!). The position entailed my support at a slew of events planned with the museum in tandem with the conjoining city-wide events with Frieze Week, one of the biggest art shows New York holds every year. I felt so happy that the Development team understood my work ethic and wanted to keep me on board for additional time. I texted my mom – excited to share that I would stay in New York until late May (hoping this opportunity would definitely turn into a PT or FT position).

A couple of days later on Friday, March 6. I was attending the Armory Show with some of the other Guggenheim interns. This is the other big art show New York holds every spring – hosting an average of 55,000-65,000 attendees each year. The general sentiment at the time was that this virus was not as serious as everyone was making it out to be. People were still somewhat mindful that ‘something was going around’, but no one was fully practicing extra health precautions. The first confirmed case in NYC was not announced until March 1.

Going around the Armory Show there were about a couple dozen people I saw donning masks and gloves, and even one wearing lab goggles. Hand sanitizer stations were posted by food outposts and restrooms, signs reminding attendees of good hygiene practices. Booths and works were clustered close together. People were mindful of avoiding personal contact with one another. But there was no fear what-so-ever.

Saturday night, March 7 I went out. It was the first time I went out at night since living in the city. I spent an evening with a fellow cohort mate of my master’s program, Marissa, who lives and works in NYC. We strolled across the Village for a half hour or so looking for a place to eat that wasn’t a two-hour wait. We ended up at a gluten-free Italian place where I enjoyed overpriced bruschetta and a glass of red wine – that had every table full of happy and loud people. Then we shifted closer to NYU and went to a two-story bar that only reminds me that I was glad to be out of college. We spent 45 minutes or so there. I can’t tell you how many people I was around, but I can tell you that I later regretted the decision to potentially expose myself to someone with COVID-19.

before the COVID-19 outbreak, using dishes that would need to be washed

Before and after implementing food service changes

after the COVID-19 outbreak, using dishes that should be thrown away after use

Living in an all-women boarding house the staff were smart to decide that they would immediately implement safe food serving and cleaning practices. Our meals were served cafeteria-style with an additional soup and salad bar set out. Now everything is prepared and served behind the counter. They have silverware already wrapped up in napkins ready to go, all food items are prepared by food service staff, and our drinks must be poured into provided containers instead of directly into our own personal water bottles or mugs. Just a couple of days ago they transitioned into single-use plastic and paper products instead of washing dishes. Common spaces and bathrooms are cleaned multiple times a day. The risk is too high.

Sunday, March 8 I visited the Whitney Museum of American Art. I used the High Line to get there since I live right next to Hudson Yards where it begins/ends. There were many visitors to the museums, cramming in to see their coveted exhibition, Vida Americana. Truth be told I was there solely for that reason as well. After discovering their permanent collection (I forgot about Demuth’s My Egypt!) and their temporary exhibition, I wandered out to the balcony to bask in the sun. It was such a great sense of carelessness. I was living in the moment. Pinching myself over the views, the weather, and the overall sense of happiness I was experiencing.

Monday, March 9, it was a normal day where I caught my 9:20ish E train to WTC and it was nowhere near as crowded as it would have been on a typical morning. I had no concern about finding a seat or worrying about someone cramming in the middle seat next to me. I ate my lunch outside in Zuccotti Park (remember Occupy Wall Street?) since it was such an abnormally warm and sunny day. Again, I did not have to worry about finding a seat since there were not as many people there as usual.

Wednesday, March 11 was my first (and last) day stationed at the museum just to shadow the public-facing membership desk on the floor. This was built into my schedule two weeks ago so this was either good or bad planning. Before opening to the public, sanitation workers were already deep cleaning all high touch surfaces (doors and door handles, countertops, elevator buttons, etc.). We also spent some time wiping off our desk countertops, credit card readers and buttons, computer keyboards, etc. Over an hour into opening we had maybe, maybe 150 people come through our doors. I spent only an hour and a half at the desk which resulted in interacting directly with two members (being handed their membership card or photo ID). Yes, I immediately used hand sanitizer following those interactions.

The night before we had already decided to cancel our March 27 Art After Dark program. We planned to send the email blast that afternoon. Unfortunately, our email inbox was still receiving questions about the event or people already asking for refunds. After lunch I transitioned upstairs to the office space for membership to assist Huong with typical inbox and phone inquiries to alleviate those concerns before the inbox was inundated with ‘please refund my tickets’ emails. We were warned shortly before the emails went out and within 5 minutes, the inbox was flooded. I felt so stressed and helpless to the team because I was not allowed to assist with that project. Surprisingly, people were only making phone calls in response to the mailing they recently got to renew their membership early and receive an additional two months (our normal renewal cycles).

Thursday, March 12 I stayed in my apartment the entire day, applying for jobs, seeking solace in career ambitions. I also spent time planning my ‘final day of fun’ for the next day where I wanted to swing by before being confined to my apartment building for the indefinite future.

Friday, March 13 was a day I needed for my mental health. I did indeed take the subway, but for the least amount of time possible. I wore gloves, sat away from everyone, and rode the quickest trains. I first went over to Brooklyn to drop by DUMBO, take in that one photo sans Empire State Building between the legs of the Manhattan Bridge because it was so cloudy. There was only a couple other people there that I had take my photo (to which I wiped down after they did that), and nannies out walking children in strollers along the waterfront. There was a deep sense of gloom. Not only because of the weather, but the pure lack of people and signs of everyday life.

Continuing on in the direction of the piers spilling out into the East River and the bay, I walked to pier 5, out towards the water. I spent about 15 minutes or so watching the fog roll off Lady Liberty’s upward arm. The clouds slicing FiDi’s buildings in half. An ominous chill sweeping up from the Atlantic. At that moment, I felt compelled to check my email. Lo and behold two emails from my Guggenheim account declaring my deep suspicion 1. since the museum is closed indefinitely, interns cannot telecommute or work remotely; and 2. that my extension was no longer needed for the Advancement team.

I was not surprised. These documents merely confirmed my deepest fear – what is going to happen? I am still in the dark. My spring internship is supposed to go until Friday, April 17. My flight home was planned for that Sunday, April 19. At the bare minimum most NYC public institutions are closed until at least the end of the month. After that who knows? The city is not closed. There is a great sense of pressure to do so. But the state of New York is under a state of emergency. Mayor de Blasio is being called upon by City Council members to #ShutDownNYC, including the decision to close restaurants and bars. Although, New Yorkers can sign up for text alerts by texting COVID to 692-692… Live updates are found here.

Tourists and locals alike have proven that they either do not care or are fully informed with how serious this situation is. The problem lies in the people that act reckless because they think are causing no harm by being out and about, exposing themselves to anyone and everyone. By unknowingly becoming a vector in carrying the virus, you can risk infecting immunocompromised individuals that will most likely not survive the consequences of getting sick from COVID-19. People packed into bars and restaurants Saturday, March 14. Ages across the board represented with an infant as well as folks in their 50s. People that are panic buying a lifetime supply of toilet paper. I don’t get it. There is a reason why work and schools have shifted to remote communication! It really feels like the beginning of a horror movie.

At this time, I think it is best that I try to return home as soon as possible. I just received an email from HR at the Guggenheim (as of 8:31pm Sun. Mar. 15) that an employee at the downtown office, who was there Monday morning, is showing symptoms that are presumptively COVID-19. I was there Monday morning… This is why you must remain at home! It can take up to 10 days for people to be symptomatic.

Given how quickly changes are being made everywhere, I wouldn’t doubt that domestic flights are going to be severely limited or discontinued indefinitely. It makes the most sense for my mental and physical health to go back to Kansas. Not to mention the financial benefit of not paying NYC rent and inflated prices for an additional month.

What have I been doing? Finally writing some new content for my website, finishing the series I’ve been watching on Netflix, taking long naps, watercoloring, getting up to the rooftop of my building for some vitamin D, and reading. It is in everyone’s best interest to stay inside. The city will always be here, and I shall return home.

Categories
Post Grad

My Kind of Place

I can bet that just about everyone has dreamt of living in New York City. Whether it’d be a good fit or not is a different problem, but for me, I think it just works. I know it’s only been a week and some change since I landed at LaGuardia in a complete haze that I get to live this dream (albeit for only three months), but I know when I find something I like it.

People are constantly in a rush to be somewhere else. The pace of life is nothing like the midwest where I’ve grown up. New York’s streets hide absolutely nothing. The candor of ‘locals’ trashing on all of the touristy sites, MTA, and Jersey is refreshing.

My morning commute is less than 30 minutes door to door. Which is spectacular! What is less so enthralling with the mundane daily routine is the ride back home afterwards. The train cars have clumps of people strung together by the doors rushing to make the 6:08pm train uptown, while those seated and hanging onto the railings between doors are in a state between comfortable and wariness. I myself am a good subway passenger, getting up for those who need my seat more than myself, and confining my existence into a space only envied by a package of sardines. Yet, I’m left with the unknown ‘right’ response to someone who is taking up space that could also be occupied by someone else, or the person incessantly coughing at stops into the hand they are using to hold onto the railings.

The mob mentality of New Yorkers is to simply ignore. Tuned out to the rest of the world via wireless headphones blasting the latest Beck album or the guilty pleasure podcast. Typically paired with some mindless knockoff of Bejeweled or Candy Crush. I choose to follow the crowd by defaulting to an overplayed playlist of last year’s jams, followed by the blank staring of the overhead bed sheets ad plastered in the entire car.

My office is incredibly quiet for how many people there are. Desks are separated with partitions that isolate the neighboring work stations only if seated. There is the occasional quip of making a deadline to a co-worker or conferring over a model of the museum’s rotunda. This condition is of my concern in that part of my internship entails answering phone calls, in fact, many calls. Then again, the office is a reflection of the preference to work ‘separately’ by communicating through your computer’s work-approved instant messenger program or phone extensions than face to face. Which I fully approve of quite honestly. I don’t even have to state when exactly I’ll take my lunch (which is allotted an entire hour) or if step away from my desk for a 15 minute break. This work environment, unsure if it is similar to other NY offices or its own situation, just works.

Amidst the throngs of homeless people and flashy business folks playing chicken on the sidewalk while they check their emails – I find a peaceful balance of the hustle and bustle. My 9′ x 13′ private room is my safe haven. The weird noises from my pipes and radiator, traffic at my doorstep – honking and sirens aplenty, barking from the tiny rat of a dog that lives across the street, have all become white noise. They now lull me to sleep instead of stirring me awake at 4:30am.

Sure, I have not yet explored beyond my little bubble. In my favor, the spring weather and timing of completing my thesis will go hand in hand for my plans to escape the artificiality of Herald Square in my backyard come March. Let’s just hope my wallet is willing to accept the fate of having the world of food at my fingertips and discounted admission to museums across the city.

Categories
SUMMER 2017

You Know Nothing, Jon Snow

Hi everyone, it’s been a hot minute, so this blog post will solely be about my most recent  internship work. If you want to read about my time in Memphis, click here.

July 6 (9:30-4:30pm)

Having missed the previous work day from an illness, today was a calm and quiet day in the office. I kept to myself while working on emailing all performers and staff members in regards to that week’s Chihuly Saturday Night.

An additional project Tyler and I were introduced to were 2018 program briefs. Our job was to compile the information from a Google doc to individual Word docs of all program types under Sara and Moira. I am responsible for working on Sara’s programs – like artinfusion, distinguished speakers, and music series. It is more tedious to make individual Word docs for each type of event than to type all the details, summary, and goals & outcomes from the Board’s expectations.

July 7 (9:30-1pm)

This Friday was the most Friday feeling I’ve had while down in Bentonville. Because of the skewed hours public programs has, weekends usually are Mondays and Tuesdays, and Fridays feel like Wednesdays. The reason why this was so was because all of the college interns embarked on facility tours of Sam’s Club HQ, the David Glass Technology Center, and Walmart HQ – so essentially a day off for me. Sara had not scheduled me for that afternoon when we were through, but I was not going to complain…

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I had missed the Sam’s tour because I woke up about 20 minutes before it was to start, so I was kinda bummed that that happened. However I met the other interns at the Technology Center around 9:30am. We were ushered through the security entrance, past an endless room of atypical cubicles. On one half of the building on the main floor the cubicles were just long stretches of desks – not individualized per employee. On the other half were typical cubicles. If you forgot to grab your morning coffee before heading to work, no worries, there’s a damn Starbucks inside, alongside a Chick-fil-A. In a back corner there is a special meeting room with all of the coolest technology on the market available at the drop of a hat. A 3D printer, 4K TV monitor, virtual reality, holographic machines, you name it.

The third floor was the neatest thing in the building. There was a relatively large room with rows of computers locked behind a wall with a biometric entrance and special tinted windows that can be frosted over like a lightswitch. This room is responsible for tackling Walmart hackers – all 2 billions attacks they receive daily. Adjacent to this room is a special room you would see in a Mission Impossible movie – an extraction room. One that is lined with microscopes, lab coats, other scientific equipment, surrounding a vacuum sealed room they have to use to recover information from seemly impossible situations. I was too perplexed by this and confused why this was necessary, but once Tyler explained through the purpose, it made sense.

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We drove about 10 minutes away to continue onto Walmart HQ. We met with a representative to give our tour and we were on our way, or so we thought. We had to sign in and show our IDs. Because I was not told to bring my ID I had to wait with the other interns that did not have IDs to be vouched by an employee. THEN we were on our way. We walked past another Starbucks (shocker), past many small closet-like rooms that are used for visiting vendors to convince and sell Walmart representatives their product(s), past the giant auditorium with a history of well-known speakers like Oprah, John Mellencamp, some Presidents to name a few. In addition to a plethora of mother’s rooms lining the hallways, there was a food court with different options. We went up a floor to walk past the cubicles and office spaces, up a floor to the open space in attempts to provide creative creating spaces, with standing desks tucked in an arm of the space.

The tour of the offices went quickly. But we were more excited about the food tasting portion in the culinary center. Every day Monday-Thursday the culinary center hosts two different sessions of taste testing food products. We were special being there on a Friday, and we got to try out two different varieties of grapes, fried chicken, and an udon soup. The space we were testing in were individual slots with a monitor above a turnstile to the kitchen where your samples magically appeared. The survey flashed on the monitor with various questions about flavor, different qualities of the food, etc.

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We then toured the rest of the culinary and innovation center. It hosts 8 full kitchens for vendors to prepare and present their products to representatives, a lab for household items, and a kitchen for the taste testing lab.

Before lunch, Sara and I had our 1:1 by phone to catch up and share my progress. Some of the interns and I met at Chick-fil-A after our tour to mull over chicken sandwiches about our morning and laugh about some of our CB experiences.

July 8 (3-11pm)

Our performers for this Chihuly Saturday Night were Rebekah Swicegood on harp and her mother accompanying her on flute, and Naturally Brass. Having Holly, our senior youth and family educator, there was great because all of the pressure of being event leader was slightly alleviated. However, these events have become such second nature to me and I feel comfortable walking into the Forest every week.

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The atmosphere felt a little older than other CSNs, which required Holly and I to coordinate the shuttle to pick up guests closer than usual because they felt they could not make it out to the spot they are to meet at. Overall, the evening went well with just a couple of complaints/suggestions.

July 12 (12-7pm)

I opened my day with the first intern lunch ‘n learn I could make in awhile. The speakers were with the communications team, engagement team, and preparation team. After walking back to the office Sara and I met with two representatives from a lighting event company that would be supplementing the upcoming Summer Fling party and Light Night party. We did a walkthrough of the Fly’s Eye Dome space (still closed to the public) and Buckyball. At that point I had gotten my day’s steps in, so Sara and I rode back in the shuttle.

I tried to get more work done on the program briefs, but not much could be done in the time between doing very small tasks in the office and the other walkthrough for the Light Night party with many staff members. Mother Nature had no mercy that day with a blistering heat index of 100 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. By the end of the day I had spent about 2 hours in the sun. To be honest, the walkthrough we had that day could have been condensed down to a diagram in a document shared amongst everyone, and an actual walkthrough for not another 2 weeks or so. I thought it was not necessary to have everyone just share what they thought everything should look like and arguing why one thing was in one place over another.

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Oh well.

July 13 (2-9pm)

Sara and I had our 1:1 meeting where we finalized all of the tasks and projects I had yet to do, scheduled the rest of the work days of my internship, and a small chat about what my future goals were for short term and long term. It being a Thursday, we had our weekly hour and a half long public programs team meeting to discuss program briefs, the events planned out for the next exhibition, Soul of a Nation, and to finalize the layout for upcoming Chihuly Saturday Nights and other upcoming events.

I did my weekly work with contacting the week’s CSN performers, staff working the event, and rewriting the timeline before helping out with Moira’s outdoor gallery talk. This was my first gallery talk I had attended because they were primarily Moira’s responsibility and me being Sara’s intern I just had yet to attend one of Moira’s events.

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Moira focused on two pieces, Kim Dickey’s Mille-fleur and Chihuly’s Niijima Floats. We had about a dozen guests follow along to listen and ask questions that Moira posed. She gave just enough information that leaves a listener wanting to ask more about biographical information, the title, medium, colors, etc. She introduced the inspiration as a weaving piece from the (17th c. -?) Dutch that had an intricate floral patterned background and a unicorn enclosed in a fence. That was something I learned and thought was really cool. We approached the work from different distances to explore the colors and interactions of the individual ceramic pieces.

For Niijima Floats we focused on colors, sizes, and interactions they have being in a pond surrounded by frogs, fish, and the other floats. We also changed perspectives by walking alongside the pond on the trail to get closer to the floats and view them with a different idea of they interact between each other. I appreciated just listening and reflecting on my responses to the questions than facilitating or actively working for the event.

July 14 (2-9:30pm)

With another evening event, I did not come in until 2pm – yay – so I had about 2 hours to wrap up the program briefs. I got most of the legwork done, so that leaves the finishing touches to be presentable to Rod and Alice for review. Starting around 4pm Tyler and I began our work to set out the stanchions and signs for the event. The event was one of our Distinguished Speakers’ series events that hosted the Netflix series, Chef’s Table‘s creators David Gelb (director of Jiro Dreams of Sushi) and Brian McGinn (director of Netflix’s Amanda Knox). 

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With the event being sold out at 500, we had to be prepared to ticket scan, greet, and usher guests as quickly and efficiently as possible. Although there is always a small no-show percentage for all events, we were still expecting to full to capacity. The Great Hall is only allowed to hold 450 people, but we squeezed more people than that. The event started a little after 7pm, a lecture more of a discussion between David and Brian that were dictated by a Powerpoint riddled with clips from the show of course. There was laughter, gawking eyes over the food porn, and curious minds jealous by the extraordinary meals they two had consumed.

I highly enjoyed the event and thankful that I was out of the museum by 9pm after packing up chairs, moving stanchions and cleaning up the Great Hall.

July 15 (11-6:30pm)

Today was an artinfusion excursion out to Red Fern Glass in the Ozarks. I met Sara in Springdale at a grocery store to carpool down to the area. I helped load in all the groceries for the grillout later. The drive was a little over an hour long out to the Ozarks, the closest town being Osage, AR. I had more moments without a cell signal than with. We tied balloons along the roads to signify to guests that they were going the correct way, with GPS being completely useless.

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The home and studio belongs to Ed Pennebaker, the most known glass artist in Arkansas. All of the grounds are sprinkled everywhere with various sizes of pieces he created with anything from a small ornament in a tree to the elaborate chandelier hanging above the outdoor deck. Ed’s wife, Carol, helped us out and very welcoming to us with food setup. We were grilling burgers and brats, chips, veggies, fruit, and beer of course. We had 26 members sign up for the event so we were expecting anywhere from 10-15 people.

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After a quick walkthrough of the event/tour, I stood at the end of the driveway to greet guests and direct where they should park. Once we had all 20 guests on the deck eating away, we began with introductions. We began in the living room and talked briefly about Ed’s biography and beginnings as an artist. Then we walked down to the studio to discuss the process of making glass, talking through the process of glassblowing, the equipment, and an idea of how much time it takes to do it all. After that we moved into the finishing room where Ed demonstrated changing the color of the tips of some pieces.

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The final thing that most of the guests really enjoyed was helping assemble a chandelier. With some guidance from Ed we fashioned the final product for Ed to ship out. A couple of guests were interested in buying some pieces, and were asking questions about specific projects, so that was good to hear. The event had officially ended, but a handful of guests stuck around to finish a beer and just have a lovely conversation about art.

The intention of artinfusion is to provide social and professional networking with young adults centered around art, so this excursion was a great hands-on opportunity to be the epitome of artinfusion. I fit right in because the target audience is 21-40.

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After clean-up, we headed out of the Ozarks and back to town. If I were ever to live in Northwest Arkansas I would be an artinfusion member, hands-down.

July 16

All I did today was binge watch Games of Thrones in anticipation of the season 7 premiere which I HIGHLY enjoyed. I felt so happy to be caught up with the rest of the world and could freely discuss GoT with anyone else.

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July 17

I spent my day catching up on sleep, rewatching Game of Thrones, and writing this blog and my one about Memphis.

Have a great week, everyone!

 

 

Categories
SUMMER 2017

THE Walmartville, USA

Gotta keep on keepin’ on, right? This week was all over the place… you’ll see.

June 28 (9:30-4:30pm)

Just your typical day in the office… Sara and I started our day off by tracking all of the tasks I could work on that needed to be done until mid-July or so. We got very specific and detailed from small things like a quick email to a more elaborate project like creating program briefs for all of the programs in 2018 to be ready for the budget committee.

Adult public programs (Sara, Moira, Tyler, Meg, and I) met for our weekly meeting to ask questions, problem solve, and share what is to come for the rest of public programs to learn later about.

The last thing I did was follow Moira, Tyler, and Cody (groundskeeper and CB’s botanist) to do a walkthrough of Chihuly Saturday Night with Dr. Don Steinkraus. Don is an entomologist at the U of A and CB’s speaker about fireflies for the annual firefly hunt! Typically this is a standalone event under the Discover the Grounds series, but since the Forest is a large and new space to use with a lot of traffic, it was best to use this activity as a special Chihuly Saturday Night.

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I was there to provide advice, insight into what I’ve seen at the events, and answer certain questions Don had that neither Moira or Cody could answer. It really is peculiar that I am charged with such responsibility to know the ins and outs of such a large event series.

June 29 (2-7pm)

I had an enjoyable morning given that I did not have to be at CB until 2pm. Sara and I had our ‘official’ one on one meeting to continue that lineage of me receiving feedback from CSN from various people to pass onto her. This was also a moment of reflection to make sure I was doing the work correctly or what Sara had expected it to be.

We had our weekly education team meeting where we reviewed all of youth and family’s 2018 program briefs – so that took some time.

Once our meeting concluded, I isolated myself in the office, earbuds in, fingers flying away on the laptop to get as much done as I could. Three hours just flew by and before I knew it, it was almost 7pm. Sara said I could stay as late as I wanted, but keep at 30 hours/week’s pace.

I got a lot of work done. Many things checked off the list of tasks, and that was very satisfactory. Because of the pace and schedule of a typical day at CB, the longest amount of time I’ll have at the desk is only an hour and a half. Otherwise I’m bumping between meetings, shadowing Sara, or working an event.

June 30 (2-10:30pm)

Oh boy! Today was a doozy. The evening’s event was a performance lab with Sam Green and Brent Green centered around Buckminster Fuller. To be honest, I cannot tell you how the event was because I was babysitting Brent’s four month old baby! Now you see why today was a doozy. The arrangements were last minute and almost panicked, so I stepped up since that would reduce the costs associated with this event, and because I would be babysitting a baby…

I met for lunch at Eleven with Sara, Moira, and all of the performers before they had to do sound check and a rehearsal. Francis was fed by his mom before I took him for a stroll outside by the South lawn to put him to sleep. It only took about 10 minutes before he conked out and I returned to the green room where he slept for 30 minutes (yay!). When he woke up I picked him up and stood in front of the long mirror by the bathroom area, he really enjoyed looking at himself and would do little giggling.

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I tried taking him for a walk down to the education office because Meg said some people were excited about a baby, but that did not work too well. I had him in the stroller, but he got freaked out once too many people were trying look down at him. Plus I could tell that he was a hand baby since he did not really like the stroller unless he was trying to sleep.

Mom only had to come in twice to feed him, and put him to bed, which did not work out too well since he woke up only 15 minutes after his mom fed him, swaddled him, and put him to sleep. He was very cranky and cried for his mom. Once he settled down a little we walked around the hallways and looked at some art. Only one person thought he was my child… :/ otherwise my intern name badge was pretty obvious. Overall, he was great for a four month old to babysit. He was a mommy’s boy, but that’s ok since he’s still pretty little.

So, I was absolutely exhausted and smelled like a baby. I crashed SO hard that night. I still do not want a child for a number of years. Sorry, not sorry!

July 1 (2-11pm)

Chihuly Saturday Night was the last thing I really wanted to do after 7 hours of babysitting the previous day, but the show must go on! My usual getup of a simple dressy tank top with a dressy yet sporty grey skirt with Converses worked well with the day’s weather. Somehow this week as event leader was slightly more difficult than the previous week. Maybe it was because we had less volunteers or we had 1800 total guests that night… yep. Our performers was the Jake Herzog Trio and Handmade Moments.

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To keep things short, the event went well. We had more guests at this type of event than ever, people loved seeing the bugs and insects that Don brought, the firefly catching, artmaking, all great. Our only complaint was the turn into politics that Handmade Moments apparently brought up, even though it was only about environmentalism and the corrupt system of incarceration. Can’t please everyone. I walked my average of 20,000 steps for CSN. Again, another night I crashed hard.

July 2 and 3

I spent these two days sleeping in, going for bike rides, old episodes of Game of Thrones, and going to theatres to see Baby Driver. That movie was so fantastic. It had all the action you could ask for, a solid narrative, enough character development by a great assortment of actors, catchy soundtrack, and just enough blood, gore, and humor.

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July 4

Yay, Happy Independence Day! I slept in, again. Went for a run, came back to watch old episodes of Game of Thrones, and later went to Orchards Park to grill up some burgers and hot dogs for dinner with a few other CB interns. The food was delicious, company was fun, and the atmosphere turned from great to meh. Mother Nature being Mother Nature decided to start raining 30 minutes before the fireworks show was to start. Thankfully I had brought my raincoat, so that was not such a bother.

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The fireworks were shooting off only about a mile away, but still close enough that it was not a bother. As a typical show it was about half an hour long with some of my favorites shooting off at the end. The only thing missing from this year’s Fourth of July was the sense of family, sure the other CB interns were great company, but it’s a little disheartening.

July 5

I woke up with a huge stomachache and headache, to which I was surprised despite drinking plenty of water and getting enough sleep. I’m guessing that it was something I ate, oh well. I called in to Sara that I could not come in, to which she understood, especially after stating it was not because I was hungover or something but actually not feeling well.

My treatment? Ibuprofen, many glasses of water, many hours of sleep, and only solid food for my two meals.

*spoiler: I got to feeling better later that evening*

Have a fantastic week, everyone!

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Categories
SUMMER 2017

It’s Officially Summer!

Would you look at that! It’s past the summer solstice, it’s almost July, and my internship is half over. Days move so slowly yet the weeks zoom by. Well, never mind my banter, on with my week!

June 21 (1-8pm)

Days I come to CB in the middle of the afternoon are super nice, but I feel like I hardly get anything done (which is not true). I spent my time researching James Turrell, peeling over many articles, projects, or autobiographical information for the sole purpose of myself and to share with the adult public programs team at the end of my internship. The other half of my time in the office I spent researching community engagement projects with other museum institutions around the world. Although that assignment seems rather vague, I am actually helping spearhead an entire committee driven to creating a community engagement project in Northwest Arkansas.


5pm came around and so I had to head down to the Great Hall to be a ticket scanner at the WOW (Wednesday over Water) Chihuly event. The event itself showcases the temporary exhibit with a discussion and open Q&A with someone representing the interpretation team and someone representing the curating team with Case Dighero, the head of culinary, moderating. The evening features appetizer-sized dishes alongside the signature cocktail created especially for this event. Truly, it was a fun event, even from the sidelines. I myself managed to snag the last glass of champagne (yay!) before sitting back and simply listening to the discussion.

June 22 (2-9pm)

Sara and I had our one on one to check in on my work, add new assignments, and make comments about previous events or anything. Again, it being a Thursday, the day consisted of meetings. The public programs team had our weekly meeting, highlighted by the dissection of adult public programs’ events for all of 2018. That took awhile to get through.


An hour or so later, Tyler and I joined Moira to welcome Annabelle Selldorf to Crystal Bridges before her lecture. As any other lecture event, we were scanning tickets, welcoming and ushering guests.

Her lecture was primarily about the bigger projects her firm is responsible for, and what is to come for her firm. What I took away from the lecture was her notion of architecture as an experience of place, done by two qualities of longevity and civility. Another thing I was not aware of was the significance of the Frick Collection in Manhattan.

June 23 (9:30-11am, 1-2:30pm)

Me being me, I forgot that Sara told me that I could take the morning off and only meet for a meeting in Springdale that afternoon. Oh well. I went into the office and spent an hour and a half on researching further content for community engagement.

Springdale is roughly 20 minutes south of Bentonville. I was meeting Sara at the Downtown Springdale Alliance to have a discussion with the director about the September 16 artinfusion mixer that Crystal Bridges and DSA were sponsoring.


After our meeting, Sara and I drove around for her to tell me about the area and what the event would look like. I went home after that, took a great nap, and went with Tyler back to Springdale to go out with Sara and some other people from Crystal Bridges in celebration of her buying a new house. I met other employees I had not had the chance to come across, where we discussed wacky art gallery experiences and why art is the best thing ever.

June 24 (2-10:30pm)

If you’ve been keeping track of the days, today was Saturday, aka Chihuly Saturday Night! What was different? I was the damn event leader. I was the go-to person for band load-in, volunteer coordinator, staff coordinator, and the go-to if something was wrong. To be fair, I have been at every single Chihuly Saturday Night from the event programming end. I was the most prepared person at Crystal Bridges for this position, so it only made sense.

I showed up at 2pm, JTH productions with the stage, sound, and light ready. Facilities and I unloaded the tables, chairs, stools, tubs for artmaking, and the tent reserved for the green room. Volunteers helped me setup, art educators showed up to setup the spin art while I was helping unload and welcome Brian Martin to do soundcheck. Around 4:30pm Opal Agafia & the Sweet Nothings arrived, unloaded, and did their soundcheck. Everything was going great. Guests were already arriving at 5pm with their lawn chairs, planting down in the mulch while enjoying their food from the food truck. I had gotten word around 5pm from our CDO that Alice Walton was going to be at the event later that evening. I almost exploded, ha.

Before the event officially began, I assigned volunteers to different workstations. I then did my routine duties with rounds between artmaking station, watercolor station, and ID check through out the night. Everything was still great. I had to make a quick cut behind the food truck to grab something for Opal to eat right before performing, because the line was SO long.


Around 8pm or so, Alice and her dog showed up to the event, in tow with her nephew, Steuart Walton. She blended in pretty well, or more like residents knew to not really bother her while she was at an event. But all in all, Chihuly Saturday Night went well. My only concern was that I had only a couple of cheesesticks that day, so I was ravenous.

June 25

My only day off and I slept most of the day, Netflix, and guess what, more sleep!

June 26

I woke up at 7am because I was super nervous and anxious about my day’s only event, lunch with Alice Walton. I practically ran to the library where I met the other summer college interns. I joined a smaller group discussing our college experiences, what we know about the Waltons, and funny stories alike. Our lunch with Alice was obviously scheduled and she was already planning on being at CB all day for meetings, because why not. One of the meetings was the board meeting with other board members like her nephew, Steuart Walton; Tom Hayes the CEO of Tyson Foods; Pitt Hyde, entrepreneur and the founder of Autozone; and a couple of other board members that were important. We briefly introduced ourselves to them, asked a couple of questions, and they were off.

I was sitting next to Rod Bigelow, the executive director of CB, whom was catacorner from Alice at the table. Alice gave a shpiel of where she got her interest in art, why art is important, and what she does to keep up with the arts today. We then asked her questions about Crystal Bridges. To keep things short, our conversation was centered around diversity in art museums, what we can do to keep all guests in mind for the entire experience, and why it all matters. Our input allowed her to be somewhat grounded in what the ‘kids’ think about art museums.


I made a lot of eye contact with Alice, asked her if she enjoyed the Chihuly Saturday Night, got a handshake out of her, and got a picture with her. Overall, one of the best Mondays I’ve ever had. I truly value her integrity, love of art, and privilege to create such a resource like Crystal Bridges for the public, it is honorable, no matter what you think of the Walton family.

June 27

Oh, another day off? Yep, I slept most of the day, watched old episodes of Game of Thrones, and enjoyed an evening bike ride.

That was the week. I hope you all have a good rest of your week and enjoyable holiday – don’t blow your fingers off! Happy Independence Day!

 

 

 

Categories
SUMMER 2017

Another Week, Another Famous Person

Wow, another week has just flown by! Weird to think I’ve been here for almost a month. Anyways…

                        June 14 (9:30-4:30pm)

Just your average day in the office… sending emails, research, paper pushing, a meeting or two and before you know it, the day is through!

The highlight of today was the first intern brown bag lunch where we have different people in the museum have lunch with us and a conversation. The executive director and chief diversity & inclusion officer, Rod Bigelow, the deputy director, Sandy Edwards, and Niki (I don’t know her last name) the COO were today’s guests. Our conversation was driven by our “fresh eyes” to the museum of ideas of improvement, to consider and ruminate over in the future.

                          June 15 (9:30-4:30) 

I’ve come to accept the fact that Thursdays are chock full of meetings. Like 80% of my day I was sitting down in a meeting, which is great because I get to not only be present and hear the minutiae of the inner workings, but I do have opportunities to contribute. That’s something I like about CB. Everyone who works there is very welcoming, approachable, open, and mindful of one another. This makes my life a little easier because as an intern, you are automatically thrust into this position of assumption. That is that everyone who works at the place of employment makes references and jumps around corners with those references because you’ve blended in well enough that they assume you understand what they’re talking about.


Example: I didn’t get the all-staff emails until the second week, meanwhile people kept asking me about information pertaining to the content in that email. I had no idea! Instead of looking like a complete idiot I ask. I would rather be upfront and tell someone, I don’t know, rather than being lost later.

Highlight of the day: another famous person! Still not allowed to share, nor did I meet her, but she’s a great actress (not helpful- ha!).

June 16 (2-7pm)

I had quite a bit of walking to do today, not confined to the office. First order of business was giving a walk through of the Great Hall to the performers that were going to be at CB for the Family Sunday. The group were Born in a Taxi, a group from Australia. They were introduced to me as a circus/theatrical group, which you can explore more with the link I shared.


After their walk through I met with Clarke (he has a pretty wicked mustache) in the Chihuly Forest to do a walk through for their band, Ozark Highballers, for that CSN. He was already at CB to play music for one of the plays at the New Plays Festival, so he took advantage of already being there.

In prep for the New Plays Festival, all I had to do was get the stanchions set up since CB was just hosting and did not have to run the event. Although I did have to run up to graphic design to get the signs reprinted and recut since they were too small for the stanchions.

I stayed for the first play, which was about this pastor and telephone company competing over the biggest hill in town, trying to either put a cross or tower atop it. To be honest, most plays bore me, and this was one of them. It was roughly an hour and a half long. Sara told me I could leave after it had finished because only one play would be next and there was nothing I needed to be there for. Besides, tomorrow would be a late night for me.

                        June 17 (2:30-11pm)

You guessed it! Another Chihuly Saturday Night in my books. The only thing different from this CSN from the others was that I was the event co-leader, shadowing Amanda around and being her right-hand woman. This was in preparation for me taking on as the event leader for the rest of the CSNs in my internship (yikes).


We only had two “issues” one where one of the bands had trouble finding the backroad entrance to the stage and ate into the time for their unloading. The bigger issue was how long the first band played. They were contracted out to play for 90 minutes, to which they only played 70 instead. And afterwards, they were selling CDs, which I was not sure about so I called Sara and she said we’ll deal with it later.

Besides all that nonsense the evening went well. I felt like there were less people than usual, but you can only tell with ticket reports later.

                            June 18 (12-5pm)

After sleeping in for a bit I came in to CB to help out with Family Sunday- Father’s Day edition. There are many activities that kids could do- fishing on Walker Landing, an obstacle course, a photobooth, drop-in art making, a parachute (what I helped out with), and the theatre group in the Great Hall playing giant chess.


The day was rather slow, my arms got their workout in from playing with the parachute with kids, but not many kids stopped to play (maybe 50).

I went home, tired, and not prepared for the 8am meeting the following day.

                         June 19 (8-10am)

Yay for 8am meetings! I attended the monthly all-staff meeting, not knowing what to expect. But thank da lawd for the bagels and coffee. That’s partially why I got up in the morning ha.

Summer interns were introduced with a mic line pass with name, department in CB, and school info. No one should be nervous that early in the morning but I sure was, speaking to 200+ people…

The meeting covered FAQs for Chihuly, a presentation on the newest rotation for works, future exhibitions, a little lecture on Buckminster Fuller, and a little flash mob. I left the museum as soon as we were finished and I went on to having a self-care day of sleeping and Netflix back in my room.

                                  June 20 

Slept in and decided to travel down to Eureka Springs for the day. From what I could tell it looked a tourist-y trap place, but still worth checking out. I drove Tyler and I down for an hour long drive (the distance is only 30 miles).


We spent some time looking around the different shops, walking up and down many flights of stairs. The town is pretty artsy and cute complete with little tucked in gallery spaces and oddball names. We found an Italian place to eat an early dinner, but only after walking up this aptly named street- Mountain- for half a mile that felt like 5. A steep incline plus sweltering heat does not look too great.


The place was already packed with older folks, and for 5pm on a Tuesday is a great sign. They bring out bread and a lot of roasted garlic for you to spread with butter onto your bread. I had the eggplant parm special and it was fantastic. Right amount of food, decent price for the location, and the home cooked taste.


On our way out of town we wanted to stop by Fay Jones’ Thornecrowne Chapel, but of course it was gated shut for a damn wedding. Who gets married on a Tuesday?!?

A typical week for me, nothing super exciting, but exciting for me to still be down here and working. I’m still highly appreciative for this opportunity and I’m working to my best ability. See you next week!

Categories
SUMMER 2017

Got My Groove On

It’s Wednesday, and yes you probably thought that I would have a falling out with keeping up with my blog, but you would be wrong!

I only had a four day work week, but that meant working longer days, which is fine because my three day weekend was awesome.

June 7 (9:30-5pm)

The first thing I had to attend to was a walkthrough of the new North Lawn with the newly installed work by Buckminster Fuller’s Fly’s Eye Dome – a massive dome structure. This was primarily because of the soon approaching event that the programming team needed to logistically plan for. It will be the first programmed event from CB involving the artwork and North Lawn.

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After our walkthrough, Sara and I met with Mike, who is from the Bentonville radio station and has a couple of work hats, to discuss the rest of the upcoming summer events and the video projections he would feature. It was rewarding to have a laidback but highly productive meeting with someone with many connections.

The rest of my day was working toward organizing and counting numbers from the I-Connect event. Somehow there ended up being four copies of the same list of registered interns for the event with different people highlighted, so that took awhile to compile everyone onto one list.

I had to abruptly stop my work for the day because myself and the other CB interns had our HR orientation to CB. Like any other HR orientation, we are treated like paid employees with the same expectations, and a rundown on the values, mission, and pillars of the museum. My day was through after that!

June 8 (2-10:15pm)

Because the I-Connect event would not be the only event I would be responsible for logistics/numbers, Sara and I met with Angela. One of her responsibilities deals with the management of CB’s Tessitura program (it’s not my favorite thing to do), and I learned how I would transfer my work from the I-Connect event to documentation for CB and for the branch of Walmart responsible for their summer interns.

I did as much as I could for the rest of the work day dealing with Tessitura for the I-Connect event, but before I get on that ball it was time to set up for the Frank Lloyd Wright artinfusion insight. There had been a family friendly event that had started at 4 with kid friendly folk music, birthday hat making, and marshmallow and toothpick building- and we kept all of those materials out for the artinfusion portion of the night. The only things we did differently was reorganize the cocktail tables, set up easels with signs, and a welcome table at the entrance.

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The event was casual with appetizers, bar, jazz music, and a special VIP access tour of the second floor of the Bachman-Wilson house. This was my first artinfusion event and I thought it as the ideal artinfusion event because it was integration of art with the casualness of the jazz music and socialization with people of the same age range.

Cleanup kinda sucked because I helped Kim take all the art supplies back to the education building which took some time and allowances from security (but only after dropping like a million toothpicks on the sidewalk).

June 9 (11-4:30pm)

Do you ever have those nightmares where you think you go to school naked or show up to work late? Well, the latter happened and I felt horrible. I had set my 4 different alarms across the room as normal but somehow I turned them all off or I had not set up them right… but I did not wake up on time. I managed to walk in the office a few minutes before 11 and refused to talk unless spoken to.

Getting past that hump and after some email checking and paper pushing I had a meeting over lunch (thanks public programming for another free meal!) with Sara, Emily, and a woman working with Kimberly-Clark who wants to be a sponsor and serve on the artinfusion council. For most of these kinds of meetings I sit in, listen, and observe. I piped up to say something, nothing too significant but it was relevant to what they were discussing.

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Shortly after walking back from the sculpture forest to the office I sat in on a logistical meeting about the Moshe Safdie lecture event at the end of July. I’m SO pumped for that. My final thing of the day was beginning my research efforts towards one of my projects.

June 10 (3-10:30pm)

Today was the second Chihuly night! A few different factors that made a difference. Sara was not the event leader, but the entire education department’s adviser, Janelle. My job was still to follow her around and keep the timeline in check with everyone else. The weather was perfect with a comfortable 80 degrees and slight cool breeze. The bands were a Grateful Dead cover band and a Pink Floyd cover band. The crowd did not feel much different than the Saturday before, but just a significantly higher number of people.

Once an event starts, all you can do is hope nothing wrong happens, but also enjoy it. Janelle and I enjoyed dinner (another free meal!) while listening to the music. But we got back to it immediately and learned that the first band loaded out in the middle of the event- which goes against the contract… still happened though.

After that slip up I hung out at the craft tables for a large chunk of time making a garden pollinator from pipe cleaners and beads. I thought it was fantastic that not only children were making the craft but adults as well. It was an enjoyable activity, easy to do and self-taught without having to monitor people.

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At the end of the night the Pink Floyd band saved their most popular and known song for last, but because it was already 10:05pm we had to stop them… should have kept track of time! Cleanup was just picking up trash and piling chairs. Super easy! Another day of walking 14,000 steps. HA.

June 11

A Sunday that felt like a Sunday! I slept hella in until like 1pm… but went for a short four mile bike ride. That was the only thing I did that day. Not ashamed what-so-ever.

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June 12

Today was relaxing. Tyler and I had breakfast/brunch at his place before heading to the Ozark Mountains to Hawksbill Crag. I had read up on the site beforehand and thought it was a good daytrip and worth the time and effort to get there.

I followed Google Maps like any other good navigator should for their driver, but the way it first took us was the road entrance with a literal 45 degree angled dirt road that was barely manageable for a sedan to push through, so we turned around and took the long way to get there. On the bright side, the drive was gorgeous, tossing around us the mountains, up and down. It took an additional hour to get to the other entrance of the road. It was the same dirt road but the more manageable side.

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After travelling down a 7 mile long dirt road with lots of rocks and potholes, going 35 mph we reached the trail head. Don’t believe the websites that say it’s like a 30 minute hike to the site. It was more of a 45 minute hike, one way. It was not an easy trail at all, more like an intermediate. There were moments that I contemplated how my body was moving the way it did without breaking, honestly. I sweat what felt like buckets, but we finally reached the point! This was quite a gem for being in Arkansas, I was quite surprised.

During the hike we were followed behind by a family of three from Oklahoma. I was wearing a KU shirt and hat, to which they told me to look at their car’s license plate when we got back to the parking lot (spoiler- it was ‘KUUUUUU’!).

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The views were fantastic. We took photos, walked around, soaked it all in for about 15 minutes, and headed back to the car. Another 45 minutes passed and I thought I would never see the car again. We had less of a scenic drive back to Bentonville because we went a different way than through the mountains, but it was faster. The whole trip down and back from Hawksbill Crag consumed most of our day.

Tyler and I took a short break before heading to CB to go see the evening show for James Turrell’s Skyspace installation. The whole show starts right before sunset and lasts for about 30 minutes. It truly is an experience you have to visit in person. The pictures are not accurate as the in person experience. All I can say is that is an LED light show that transforms the light of the open oculus in the top of the installation.

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Picture collage of Skyspace

June 13

After a four mile hike that contributed to walking 15,000 steps yesterday I decided to have another relaxing day off. Around noon I decided to go check out the newly opened Hurts Donut shop in Fayetteville before going to watch Wonder Woman. Donuts smelled and tasted heavenly. Wonder Woman was highly entertaining. Would recommend both! I went to Target to grab some things, kill time, and get some steps in… Did some laundry when I got home, crashed and burned out for the night.

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Ready for another week of hard work and productivity!

 

Categories
Uncategorized

I Think I’ve Been Here a Week…

I had to literally flip through my phone’s photos to make sure that I was correct in saying that I’ve been in Arkansas for more than a week.

*reminder* The first night spent in Arkansas was May 29, so yes, it has been a week+.

I think the rest of my blog posts will flow more smoothly if I treat the days like very public diary entries (because they are) instead of just summing everything up in a nice post.

June 1 (9:30-4:30pm)

Thursday was the most mundane (and by mundane, I mean compared to the other days of this week). It was an admin day, which means meetings and computer work. I sat in on the weekly calendar and security review meeting where I learned of a really cool dinner that happened that evening that I can’t share with the public because privacy… but there was someone cool that musically performed at CB for a dinner that evening.

I think the most ‘productive’ thing I did was send an email to the general manager of the Walton Arts Center arranging a time to pick up some things left behind after an event at CB. Other fun things I started to do was proofreading event descriptions for the rest of the calendar year. The last thing I did for the day was sit in on the public programs weekly meeting. I put more names to faces and realized that I could definitely learn everyone’s name surely by the end of next week. All in all, it was a day to get things done and I did not realize that until later that week.

June 2 (2-8pm)

Today was National Donut Day, so I decided to look up all the donut places in town and there were not many to choose from so I settled on a Krispy Kreme glazed donut. I was so excited to kick off working my first event today and came to the office like 15 minutes early, no problem with that because I got to go to a fun meeting about the flash mob that a core of staff were planning to show off at the next all staff meeting. They asked if there were any new songs that would work best to plan a flash mob, to which I suggested JT’s Can’t Stop the Feeling for a couple of reasons. It’s a fun song to listen to, especially since the meeting will be at 7:30am… there’s already a ‘dance’ to it via the music video, and it’s relatively new. But like most meetings it became side tracked and they chose to dance to a simplified and condensed version of Christopher Walken’s dance in Weapon of Choice. I had to look that up because I’m too young for that reference. I thought my idea was slightly easier and more relevant, but it’s all good.

The event that evening was an exhibition opening lecture from Tina Oldknow, former curator of Modern Glass at Corning Museum of Glass. In preparation, Tyler and I finalized seating arrangements by angling the rows of chairs to make the audience crane their neck less so. We then had to rearrange the furniture and clean out the green room because of the performer from the previous night (you know, the one I said I can’t share because privacy) because they thought it was a good idea to smoke in the green room. Then we arranged the tables for the cash bar and cocktail tables, and then laying out tablecloths. After that we arranged the line barricade for ticket scanning prior to the event. Those poles are very heavy and recommend holding them in an appropriate manner unless you want them to squash your feet. After running between the office and back of house to get last minute things like the ticket scanner, I began scanning tickets and directing people inside. There were just a couple of hiccups in terms of being able to scan the tickets but otherwise the entire process went smoothly.

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I thoroughly enjoyed the lecture itself because Oldknow went beyond discussing Chihuly’s history and works but to discuss a whole variety of modern glass artists that go beyond making pretty glass sculptures, even though Oldknow has worked with Chihuly on exhibitions for years. My favorite work during the lecture was Javier Pérez’s Carroña. I highly encourage looking at that work. Overall, I was highly appreciative that the first event I worked was laidback with a lecture because it allowed me to be as engaged as I needed to with being as high maintenance with a different type of event like the Chihuly Nights.

All we had to do after the event was collect tablecloths and ticket scanners to return to the appropriate offices. A fantastic first event.

June 3 (2:45- 9:15pm)

I decided it was best to sleep in as late as possible because I had no idea how long I would be needed for the first Chihuly Night. Today was the opening day of the new Chihuly exhibition! For the first time, CB has split the exhibition with half inside the galleries and the other half (roughly) in the outside forest. CB has a lot of acreage in land that is mostly forested which is also teeming in different trails. Most of the North trail is dedicated until November or so when the exhibition leaves.

As I was driving over to CB, Sara called me asking me to run to Walmart. It was beginning to rain and it was predicted that it would be for some time afterwards. I got the company card from Sara in the teardrop (front circle driveway with Roxy Paine’s silver tree) and went off to Walmart to buy all the cheap ponchos I could!

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Driving in Bentonville/NW Arkansas is terrible, let me first say that. Like you would not expect that in such a remote-ish place, but the area is absolutely flourishing. Traffic is lengthy no matter what time during the entire day – with traffic settling down around 8:30pm or so when everyone’s home. It also does not help that people drive so erratically like they don’t give a damn. The closest Walmart to CB is roughly 2.5 miles away, what Google Maps says is a 10 minute drive – HA. Almost double that and that’s how long it will take. It took me about 45 minutes to go to Walmart, get the ponchos, and walk about a mile to get to the area in the exhibition I was supposed to meet Sara at. Add to the fact that it’s a solid rainfall and the sidewalks are caked with mulch and mud. Just picture the stereotypical intern carrying 30 rain ponchos in the rain while trying to get somewhere ASAP… that was me.

The Chihuly Night was to officially start at 6pm. There was a food truck of CB’s restaurant, Eleven (great great food), spin art tables, en plein aire drawing, a couple of bands playing throughout the night, some hula hooping and trapeze artist people and not to mention the exhibition of course.

We spent roughly an hour and a half standing around on the stage waiting for the rain to clear, putting up pop tents and eventually squeegeeing the stage clear of water once the rain finally let up around 4:45. One last intern-like thing I had to do. I had to run to the education office to grab an access key to a storage closet in a different part of CB to grab four yoga mats for the drumset on stage. Running out of the forest, down to the office, back and forth between buildings and back to the forest took about 15 minutes but felt like hours.

IMG_7647Luckily that was the last intern-like thing I had to do that night besides grabbing a couple of cases of water for the bands. People flocked to the area with their chairs ready to listen to the music. Vintage Pistol, a band from Fayetteville played for an hour and a half, and then Andy Frasco & the U.N.‘s played and boy did they play. The point of having music and the outdoor exhibition was to listen to the music while looking at the Chihuly works and have different experiences with the music and sunlight or lack of sunlight.

My only job during the event was to prevent people from walking behind the stage area mostly because they thought there were more artworks in the other direction when in-fact there were not. Once I done with that around 8:15 I could go grab something to eat from the food truck (thanks public programming!). I had the pot roast sandwich with the garlic aioli and a carrot haha.

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After that I went throughout the exhibition and enjoyed the outdoor pieces which were even more impressive than the gallery pieces. My personal favorite were the pieces wedged in the trees (see below).

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I returned back to Sara to discover that she no longer required my help, even after I asked multiple times to which I finally agreed on. My Fitbit was very happy with 12,000+ for the day, and my Birks muddier than what I came with. A rainy, humid, and exhausting evening for sure, but one that makes me even more excited for the rest of the Chihuly Nights!

June 4 (2-7:30pm) 

The home stretch of the long weekend! Today was the I-Connect Intern event hosted at CB. The event was for interns serving in NW Arkansas, whether it was with Walmart, Tyson Foods, or any small business. The event did not start until 4pm, but the prep work for this event was pretty standard. The itinerary besides meeting other interns included various activities in the galleries, gourmet hot dogs for dinner, and a concert from Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin. Just under 300 interns had registered for the event, so we were expecting a little less than that because of the usual drop rate.

My job during the event was with registration by being a ticket scanner. Believe it or not this was difficult because 90% of the interns had their ticket on their phone. I had to ask people to turn up their screen brightness, pull up the actual email instead of a screenshot, and fight screen cracks for nearly 300 people. That took some time. We figured out was best to do for next year in terms of registration like having nametags done in a different way and ticket registration. We eventually got through every intern and guests, despite it taking more time than it could have. Things would have gone much slower had there not been interns from Walmart helping out with the event.

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After doing registration Tyler and I enjoyed the event, because we’re interns too! For cleanup I was responsible for just gathering all materials from registration and helping out Rhonda Houser- head of HR (responsible for hosting this event). I was looking forward to the next two days (my weekend) off.

June 5

I slept in, a lot. Like I didn’t leave my room until 2pm. It was a beautiful day and I had spent the night before researching all the Bentonville bike trails, so I decided it was best to go on a bike ride. I never biked in Lawrence because I was not really confident with roads, Clinton Lake, or other pedestrians and the trails are far away from my apartment. I started at the bottom of the Crystal Bridges trail and made my way north, past the water treatment plant, into the North Bentonville trail, past the Slaughter Pen mountain bike trail system, and back the way I came.

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I only tracked half of my ride with an app, but from that part of my ride I went about 4 miles (so 8 miles total) and burnt 400 calories (so 800 calories total). I took my helmet off twice during my breaks and both times my sweat came off in a splash against the concrete. Yea, gross. I went farther in distance than I expected, but it was worth it. The trails were well-kept, beautiful, and populated enough that if someone was injured they would be found within 5 minutes.

After the longest bike ride I’ve ever done I went to Onyx Coffee Lab to grab an iced latte- very good but not recommended after working out really (yikes). I went home, showered, made dinner, and watched Doctor Strange and The Place Beyond the Pines. Both excellent films.

June 6

I woke up sore (duh) and I decided it was best to have a somewhat productive day and to get out of my room. Fayetteville day trip it was! I thought it was best to start out by browsing the Tuesday Farmer’s Market in the downtown square – very cute. People are very friendly here – thanks old man on the banjo – and that kinda made me stick out like a sore thumb because they could tell by my delayed and startled responses back. Oh well.

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One of the cool places that I found while researching things in Fayetteville to do was this fairly new place called Sit & Spin which is a restaurant/24 hr laundromat. I had laundry to do, so why not come? While my clothes did their thing, I grabbed a Boss Burger with some fries. Pretty yummy coming from a laundromat.

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Given that I’m a college kid and Fayetteville is a college town, I figured that I should at least check out the U of A. It was a good combination of historic buildings and enough southern school-esque that made me confident that I preferred KU more. The campus was pretty, but just not for me.

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After pretending I was a U of A student I went to this place called KREAM. Their signature thing is that they serve ice cream in a donut – I know, not super original but I had yet to go to a place that did that. I thoroughly had a sugar overload from butter pecan ice cream in that donut. Wow. So heavy. I won’t be going back there…

I did one last lap around the campus and said peace out because I’ve done just about all the things in Fayetteville I need to do. The one last thing I actually did was go to the back of this boutique that a really cool color wall and took some pictures, so that was cool.

I found myself in a Starbucks, hydrating, and recovering from the day’s events. Ready for the week ahead to work, learn, and meet new people. Tune in for next week’s post, thanks!

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Categories
SUMMER 2017

I Gotta Feeling

 

… that this internship’s gonna be a good one (I got the Black Eyed Peas song in your head, didn’t I?). Ok, that was really really cheesy so from here on out I promise to not say stupid things like that again, maybe.