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Interview with the Interns

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Interview with the Interns

As the first career-based, college preparatory high school internship program of its kind, Trinity High School’s Pre-Professional Internship Program places students in grades 10, 11, and 12 in professional settings one full day each week throughout the school year.  Students provide valuable assistance to their corporate mentors at over seventy Cleveland area facilities, including the Cleveland Clinic, as they build a resume of experiences for college and beyond.  The program prepares students for college as it assists them in focusing their career goals and also encourages graduates to begin careers after college in the Northeast Ohio area as it showcases the wide range of available career opportunities. This season, three students from Trinity High School are interning in the curatorial department at the Cleveland Museum of Art, each focusing on a different project. We sat down to talk to them on their individual interests and experiences related to their internships so far!

Samantha Nicole Mischak, 16 years old, Trinity High School Junior

What do you like about the most about the internship so far?

I love art. Even though I am not always looking at the galleries, I am still surrounded by art every time I come to internship. I feel like I can express myself here and I really enjoy being creative, so I would have to say that my favorite part about interning here is probably that there are no limits, you can express yourself in anyway and I think that is amazing.

What is the most interesting thing you've learned or experienced during your internship at the Cleveland Museum of Art?

I think the most interesting thing that I have learned from interning here so far is that I have seen that it is not only the museum part. Many other things go on here behind the scenes, and I had no idea until I saw the first time that I came here. It is really interesting to see how to put an exhibition together and see what work you have to go through to create an exhibition.  

Tell us about the topic of your exhibition project and why you chose it.

The topic of my exhibition project is contemporary art and photography. I picked these to specifically because I feel that they have a lot to do with self expression.  Contemporary art can speak to you, if you have the right mindset. Photography to me tells a silent story, you can learn a lot about something just by looking at photographs.

What do you hope to gain from this internship to help with your future career?

Frankly, I have no idea what my career goal is. I would definitely something in the art field though, I am not completely sure on what that might be yet though. From this internship experience I hope to gain much knowledge on what goes on in the art world, I will know exactly what is ahead for me and how to go about being an artist. 

Patrick Roberge Lucas, 17 years old, Trinity High School Senior

What do you like about the most about the internship so far?

What I like most about working at the Cleveland Museum of Art is the atmosphere. It is so fascinating to work at an institution where all of its employees work for art collectively. It is inspiring to be surrounded by art which I can love, learn about, and learn from, and it is exciting to be surrounded also by people who love art as much as I do. My remarkable supervisors encourage me to look around the galleries, and I love having that resource open to me whenever I want. I definitely came back two years because there is always art to the left and art to the right.

What is the most interesting thing you've learned or experienced during your internship at the Cleveland Museum of Art?

I have learned so much throughout my internship at CMA. It is hard to point out the most interesting thing I have learned. It may be broad, but I appreciate the knowledge to connect art and specific works and artists from CMA to daily life. For example, if I see a reference to Childe Hassam, I can say “Childe Hassam painted Fifth Avenue, which I included in my exhibition project last year.”

One of my greatest experiences at CMA was my sophomore year, when Amanda Mikolic took me and my three fellow interns to conservation just to check it out. As we walked around the department, we saw the recently acquired icon attributed to Angelos Akotantos (2010.154) being touched up. It was a big deal when CMA obtained it, but to see it being worked on in conservation was a once in a lifetime sight to see.

Tell us about the topic of your exhibition project and why you chose it.

My exhibition project is not yet written in stone for this year. I do know however, it will focus around landscapes. Oil paintings fascinate me the most out of all the artistic mediums CMA owns, and I would like to learn more this year about how exactly artists go about painting them; I want to know what methods they used. Ultimately, I am interested to learn for myself how to paint landscapes so I can paint them myself. I thought I would kill two birds with one stone: with this project I go deeper into the exhibition project, and I also get a private art tutor from the CMA’s collection. I did a very similar theme my sophomore year, but it was not nearly as in depth as this will be. Last year I created an exhibition called Art and Architecture, which was a focus on architecture portrayed through art.

What do you hope to gain from this internship to help with your future career?

Unfortunately, I do not yet know what exactly I want to do with my life or what I want to study in college. When I first started working at CMA in 2011, I was immediately but ignorantly turned off by being a curator of art because it appeared to be an office job (although most careers are office jobs). But upon talking to Alicia Garr over the summer, I realized curators do, basically, buy art, look at art, study art, write about art, and formulate exhibitions about art; mostly all of which I have done already. This planted idea has been growing inside me since then, but I am still unsure of my final commitment. If I do not pursue this and study art history, I will probably end up majoring in business or entrepreneurship. It is obvious I will be well equipped if I go to college for art history, but I also have learned business while working at CMA. The business aspect of things is constantly accompanying us who work here, and probably anywhere.

 

Morgan W. Psenicka, 16 years old, Trinity High School Junior

What do you like about the most about the internship so far?

I love the environment I work in. Every part of the museum has exciting features to explore and every object on display has its own story to tell. No matter where I am or whether or not I am in the galleries, I am constantly learning new things. I can really appreciate that level of engagement, especially as a teenager in high school. If I had to pick a particular instance, I love spending time in the Ingalls Library. There’s always something on display that will catch my eye, and it is very calm and quiet so I can read undisturbed. 

What is the most interesting thing you've learned or experienced during your internship at the Cleveland Museum of Art?

I enjoy going behind the scenes for an inside look at how the museum chooses what it acquires or at exhibitions that are not yet fully installed. One of my favorite experiences last year was helping blow up balloons for the Martin Creed exhibition in the Glass Box. This year, I had the opportunity to take a brief tour with a few of the curators through the newly opened South American galleries. Hearing the history and mythology behind the objects and how they were made fascinated me for weeks.

Tell us about the topic of your exhibition project and why you chose it.

I’ve chosen Art Deco as the subject of my exhibition project this year. I fell in love with the style even before I knew what it was. Recently, Art Deco has made a comeback in pop culture (thanks, in part, to the newest the Great Gatsby film). The idea struck me on a visit to the Ingalls Library one afternoon. The library has shelves full of literature on the subject. In particular, my focus will be on Art Deco’s influence in American industrial design of the era. I may narrow the topic even further, or focus exclusively on the American industrial aspect of the time. This will be discussed in the context of the world events taking place that affected the development of the distinct styles that evolved and flourished throughout the 1920s and ‘30s. The idea is still a work in progress, but I am excited about what I have so far.

What do you hope to gain from this internship to help with your future career?

My eventual career goal is to become a geneticist and working in a lab. I am planning to major in biochemistry and minor in physics, but nothing is completely certain. Despite my deep interest in science, I’ve always had a passion for art. Working at the Cleveland Museum of Art has been an amazing experience, especially as an artist myself. I could not have asked for a better introduction into the professional world. The skills I have learned and am still learning can be applied to just about any career I could pursue. 

Stay tuned for more from this season's curatorial interns from Trinity High School!

Related:

> Learn more about the Trinity High School internship program

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