When the Gibbes Museum opened in 1905, the nation celebrated what Charleston has always understood: the power of art – to inspire our imagination, heal our hurt, and nourish our souls.

Intern Insights: Heyward Bost

Heyward Bost headshot

This summer, I was lucky enough to intern at the Gibbes Museum of Art; my experience truly exceeded my expectations. The Gibbes is a beautiful museum, and the staff behind it are some of the most intelligent, passionate, and kind people that I have met. I am currently a rising sophomore at Sewanee: The University of the South, where I am studying Art History. My love for art began at a young age. I was an art student throughout secondary school, and as a senior in high school, I took my first Art History course and never looked back. Working at the Gibbes was an incredible experience for me as I was able to share my passion for creating and studying art with children. The Summer Camp Program itself is incredibly impressive. It was an amazing experience to be able to work with Chase Quinn, Curator of Education and Programs, and Becca Hiester, Director of Education and Programs. It was fascinating to see all the work that goes into maintaining the Gibbes along with executing the events and programs it holds.

Girl wrapping yarn to create a sculpture
Creating wrapped sculptures. Photo by MCG Photography

My first week as an intern, I was lucky enough to work with Visiting Artist Robin Howard whose approach to art was refreshing and inspiring. I was so delighted to watch children experience freedom in art. Robin would allow them to make just about anything their mind could conceive. Everyday, I watched as the group we taught grew as artists. Robin showed students how limitless art can be. She allowed them to begin questioning what art is. In one of our projects, we imitated the work of Judith Scott by using wood blocks and yarn. Some students dove right in while others were scared to create a piece that was so disorganized in a way. As time went on, they became more confident in this project, which was fun to watch. It was also hilarious to hear how parents reacted to this very avant-garde art. One father thought there was an actual animal in his house when he came home from work, but it was just one of the student’s Judith Scott-esque sculptures. Robin and I thought this story was too good and exactly what we expected to hear from the students.

Perhaps my most meaningful experience at the Gibbes Museum of Art was attending a reading of the book, Praise Songs for Dave the Potter: Art and Poetry for David Drake. The questions prompted by Becca provoked profound answers that called for deep questioning within me. I remember one moment when Jonathan Green said, “It is men who build cities but women who bring life to them”. This statement shook me as it was at once simple, beautiful, and deeply true. It was also profound when a man in the audience stood and spoke on Jonathan’s painting, Potter Fragments, along with the entirety of the series. He was emotionally impacted by the pieces in a way I had never seen before. He told Jonathan that these paintings truly held weight and emotion. He felt that the series was even more impactful than other pieces of Jonathan’s such as Corene which is currently on display in the Gibbes’s permanent collection. I will never forget the interactions that took place during the reading. It was a truly honest discussion of the South’s dark past with so much hopefulness for our future.

I will forever be thankful for my time as an intern at the Gibbes Museum. The people behind the Gibbes taught me so much about life and art. This experience further confirmed my intended career path in Art History and showed me the beauty in sharing my passion with others.

Summer Camp internships were made possible by the generous support of the South Carolina Arts Commission.

Published July 2023

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