Place of Internship: Real Art Ways, Hartford, Connecticut summer 2010
New Englanders tend to reserve the few months of hot summer weather for beach trips and barbecues, and normally I would be one of them, but this year I wanted to spend some time in an artistic environment outside of the Pratt gates. I knew I still wanted to go home for the summer so I started looking for internships in Connecticut at the beginning of the Spring semester. I applied to a couple museums in Hartford and New Britain, but really had my heart set on a more alternative, interactive venue.
And thus I found my way to Real Art Ways, one of the leading multidisciplinary non-profit arts organizations in the country - and by far the coolest in my book. RAW houses contemporary new artists, offers first-run independent films in their cinema, and gets involved with everything else from parties and events, to live art and public art projects throughout Hartford.
I joined the Real Art Ways team as a Communications intern, and the small staff (usually around 10 in the office) really allowed me to get involved. I spent most of my time designing posters and flyers for upcoming events and openings. And although I had the occasional filing task or Staples run, I was never asked to get coffee for anyone other than myself (they have an amazing cafe in the lobby).
Real Art Ways also provides their interns with the chance to execute an independent project. The then Communication Coordinator Abby Ohlheiser, who's now getting her masters at NYU, and I really wanted to get a RAW blog up and running, but it never exactly came to a reality. However, I ended up creating a series of headers for their E-News , which have been taken on by the new Coordinator and any upcoming interns.
Bottom line, I spent a lot of time using InDesign and talking with some really amazing Real Art Ways staff members.
My advice to any aspiring interns: Don't overlook small organizations, they can do some incredible things and give you the opportunity to actually do something and get to know the artists and designers who work there.