Liberal Arts Career Services
Liberal Arts Career Services

The Contemporary Austin

Spring 2014 Site Review

Position: Education Intern
Student: Psychology Junior

My internship for The Contemporary Austin, a contemporary art museum formerly known as Arthouse Austin and Austin Museum of Art (AMOA), was under the supervision of Abby Mechling within the Education Department specifically focusing on Family and Community Programs. The museum has two locations, one downtown on Congress and one on W. 35th Street on the grounds of Laguna Gloria, a historic home now used as a year-round art school and museum. I reported to Laguna Gloria twice a week at 9:00 AM to work with Abby to do various tasks until around 2:00PM in the afternoon.

In the beginning, Abby had me research and familiarize myself with the exhibitions that the museum currently had on display as well as the exhibitions the museum planned to have next. Then, I’d compile Word Documents filled with “content” I’d obtained from my research. This included videos, interviews, photographs, news articles, etc. which all pertained to the artists or the artwork of the exhibitions. This content we used often throughout each exhibition to create Prezis for the Interactive Kids’ Loft at the museum’s downtown location, which allowed kids to sit down, put on some headphones, and view pictures, videos, and listen to interviews that we’d collected in connection to the exhibition.

Another program at the museum to which I was assigned was Seeing Special Things (SST) in which Title 1 schools are invited to come to The Contemporary three times a year, alternating museum location each time, to get a tour of our exhibitions, create a take-home art project in connection with the artwork they view each trip, and eat lunch at the museum! It’s all free! Title 1 schools are schools where 75% of the student body comes from low-income families, so many of the children don’t often get to do these kinds of field trips with their school nor do they really get to go to museums with their own families. Seeing Special Things allows them to do that and it’s been an incredible experience. I give tours with the kids and help lead the “art labs” three times a year and get to build a relationship with these students who really appreciate the experience!

Lastly, Second Saturdays were monthly events held at the museum for families to come and create artwork together. Abby, the other intern Kara, and myself would brainstorm fun projects that would be fun for all ages, from adults to toddlers, and encourage families to spend time together, creating artwork, in a museum setting.

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    University of Texas at Austin
    FAC 18
    2304 Whitis Ave. Stop G6200
    Austin, Texas 78712-1508