Liberal Arts Career Services
Liberal Arts Career Services

LA Contemporary Exhibitions

Summer 2017

Position: Curatorial intern
Student: Spanish, Portuguese Senior

While applying for this internship, I was told it would contain a decent amount of production management and exhibition set up – meaning it would be a rather hands on experience. As I researched, on my own, more about the upcoming exhibitions scheduled for LACE’s gallery through the summer and into the fall, I found that most of the themes and artists I would be dealing with would relate to Spanish. With this in mind, I presumed LACE would be a great place to expand my knowledge of the art industry while maintaining a relationship with the Spanish language and culture throughout the summer; and overall, I was correct in my presumptions. I spent most of my days working for lace doing hands on instillation set up and helping the curator as well as artist with putting together each physical component of the show. Needless to say, I quickly learned the dress code for working at this gallery encouraged my thrift store overalls rather than your typical business casual attire. Whenever I wasn’t sent downstairs to help out with production matters in the gallery space, I remained in the office space upstairs in order to help with a variety of computer related tasks for the upcoming shows. For example, I learned a good deal about website management, marketing strategies, and web-based archival systems which allowed the LACE team to record and keep track of the works being used in each event. Although this sounds like a lot for one intern to do, I actually had the help of two or three additional interns who worked with me each day – dividing the work rather evenly between us.

To give you an idea of my daily routine, I woke up around 9:30 in the morning to begin getting ready for work. In Los Angeles, many art galleries do not open till eleven or twelve in the morning so I had the luxury of being at work by 11:00 am. It took me twenty minutes to walk to work – a very sweaty twenty minutes I might add. Once I arrived, I head upstairs to the office space to put away my self-packed lunch and inquire about any dire tasks I could help with before going downstairs to set up the exhibition. During the month of June, the gallery remained closed to the public as artist Jimena Sarno worked to create her installation and LACE curator Daniela Quintanar set up her exhibition of Teatro Campesino. For this, I spend most of June helping both women construct and install each exhibition. However, in July, both exhibitions were completed and on display for the public to see; therefore, my productions days were fewer and far between. Each day I arrived at work, I went downstairs to turn on the exhibitions (turn on the sound, lights, digital displays that accompany the installations) and set up post at the gallery’s front desk. From here I could work on my computer as the director and curator emailed me with daily tasks and research opportunities as well as administer tours and information of each exhibit to those who visited the art gallery. Then, at six o’clock, it was time to close down, turn off, and lock up the gallery before I made the twenty-minute trek home.

Of course, each day was a little different; and each month held different priorities – requiring different skillsets; but that’s what made it interesting. Towards the end of my internship, I even had the chance to assist with preparations for a bilingual program called Se Habla Español which was LACE’s first attempt toward becoming a continuously bilingual art institution. This allowed me to give guided tours in both English and Spanish, translate informational LACE documents from English into Spanish, and contact various Spanish speaking institutions and community groups about upcoming LACE events.

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