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Intern Perspective: A Semester Inside the Gibbes


I’ll admit—when I applied for the Communications Internship at the Gibbes Museum of Art, I wasn’t sure what exactly I was getting into. I knew that I had loved the Gibbes since I was young and that its impact on me was, in fact, part of the reason I majored in Art History at the University of North Carolina. What I didn’t know was what communications for an art museum entailed. Upon arriving on my first day in August, however, I was immersed in the Museum Relations department, including event planning and communications at the Gibbes. From that day on I have loved the excitement of seeing our Facebook “likes” grow as I help Lasley Steever brainstorm for Twitter and Facebook posts, reading the countless articles I have clipped out for press portfolios, and seeing how the Gibbes gives back to the community in its responses to the many donation requests sent to Marla Loftus.

Ardeidae, 2010, by Stacy Lynn Waddell
Ardeidae, 2010, by Stacy Lynn Waddell (American, b. 1966). Singed and burned paper with watercolor; 96 x 51 inches. Courtesy of the artist. Photograph courtesy of Chris Ciccone.

Aside from daily tasks on the second floor, the opportunity to lend a hand at our special events hasn’t been too bad either. I have gotten to hear the speakers of the Women in Arts lecture series, attend the exhibition openings of Face Lift and The Evidence of Things Unseen, and talk to people who are as passionate about the arts and the Gibbes Museum as the people that work here, including the artist Stacy Lynn Waddell, a fellow UNC alumna and my personal favorite of the lecture series.

Remains of a Meal, 2000, by Jill Hooper
Remains of a Meal, 2000, by Jill Hooper (American, b. 1970). Oil on linen; 7 x 17 in. Museum Purchase with funds provided by a gift of the Charleston Fine Art Dealers Association (2000.026)

If you had asked me when I graduated in May what I would be doing in the Fall of 2010, I wouldn’t have said this (I probably would have told you I had no idea), but I am so grateful to have ended up in this particular internship at this particular museum. The opportunity to be a small part of the Gibbes as it grows provides excitement for me every Tuesday and Thursday, and Marla and Lasley have been very patient with an Art History major without much previous knowledge of Communications. The best part about this internship, though, is no matter how engrossed I am in articles, Facebook, or press releases, I can always take a step back and walk around the museum to see anything from Stacy Lynn Waddell’s elegantly scorched debutantes to Jill Hooper’s intricate and inviting ‘Remains of a Meal.’ Thanks to this internship and everyone at the Gibbes, I have had a fall season full of stimulation, good people, and great art.
Emily Morrison, Museum Relations Intern, Gibbes Museum of Art

Download an application for the Gibbes Museum of Art College Internship Program (PDF).


Published December 9, 2010

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