A couple of interns from Pennsylvania are learning about arts management this summer in two distinct gallery settings: while Rachel Barron works in MCLA Gallery 51, Amanda Hinkel is stationed at Kidspace, a child-centered art gallery inside Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA).
Barron (right) will begin her senior year this fall at Pennsylvania’s West Chester University, where she majors in studio art with a minor in creative writing. One of the great characteristics of her Berkshire Hills Internship Program (B-HIP) experience, she said, is the opportunity to delve into diverse areas of arts management while she discovers what aspects of the field interest her most.
“I can see myself in a gallery management setting or working with publications, for example at a contemporary art magazine,” Barron said. “My experience thus far at Gallery 51 is already helping me to achieve my goals. I am sharpening my communication skills through technical and creative writing, as well as design.
Many of her responsibilities include writing – such as press releases, contracts, or handouts for the public. “I also work with Illustrator to design marketing materials for upcoming exhibitions.”
“I get to see and experience first-hand the cooperation between the artist and the arts administrator, which is so valuable to me,” Barron said. “It is my hope that by understanding this collaboration, I will be able to use my comprehensive knowledge to become a hybrid of these important roles.”
Barron especially enjoys installing and taking down exhibitions; however, “I think the best part of the internship is the openings of the new exhibits,” she said. “It’s great to relax and meet new people after the hard work is finished.”
What’s Barron’s favorite part of the experience? “So far, it’s definitely the networking,” she said. “I have already met so many interesting people from other interns, arts managers to working artists.”
Hinkel wanted an intensive internship program that allowed her to explore arts management while it provided her with career experience in a museum. A recent graduate of Marywood University in Scranton, Pa., she holds bachelor’s degrees in arts administration and art history.
“I would like to work in an art museum’s education department, similar to where I am now in MASS MoCA,” Hinkel said. “I love working with young children and students, and I find a museum such a wonderful tool for exploration.”
Working at Kidspace solidified Hinkel’s career choice of museum education as she leads tours, creates projects for the gallery’s Art Bar, installs exhibits and conducts research on education in other museums. She plans to use the experience she gains this summer as a stepping stone to a job in the field.
“The best part of my internship is working with so many different people with different experiences and educations,” Hinkel said. “I’ve learned so much by being a part of a culturally rich institution like MASS MoCA.”
While Hinkel enjoys the outdoor activities the Berkshires offer, she also looks forward to the weekly outings the interns embark on as they get to know the region and bond as a cohort when they visit other venues and get a behind-the-scenes look at the area’s cultural institutions.
The culture and arts found in the Berkshires, said Barron, are very different than those in Pennsylvania, particularly in Philadelphia. Experiencing them has caused a shift in her perspective.
“When I go back to Pennsylvania, I will definitely have a fresh lens about the role of these many arts organizations in communities, and what it takes to run them,” Barron said. “The people that I have met in the Berkshires are so passionate about their work, and I think that’s important to take with me wherever I go.”