As part of our Berkshire Hills Internship Program – better known as B-HIP – eight participants from the Berkshires, Colorado, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and as far away as Japan are immersed in the region’s rich arts and cultural offerings as they learn about arts administration.
In its 12th year, and in the midst of its 15th session, B-HIP educates tomorrow’s arts managers at cultural venues throughout Berkshire County, including MASS MoCA, the Berkshire Museum and Shakespeare & Company.
MCLA alumnus Patrick Engle ’16 of Pittsfield, Mass., is at the Clark Art Institute, where he works with its graphic design team. From signage posted throughout the museum and handbill design to creating posters, he has worked on numerous projects during this summer’s internship.
“I also lent my illustration skills for hand-lettering on the Clark’s Fourth of July T-shirt, as well as content for their ‘Sensing Place’ field guide,” Engle said. “I am truly appreciative for the time and encouragement the other designers have given me, and also the ability to contribute to work that I can add to my portfolio.”
Engle’s career plans include working for a Berkshire County museum so he might contribute to one of the organizations that helped shape his passion for the arts, and perhaps doing graphic design work on the side.
He said his internship at the Clark has been a great experience as he’s absorbed the professional atmosphere and learned how graphic designers work. In addition, by attending production and communications meetings, Engle sees first-hand how a team constructs a plan and sees it through to completion.
“Perhaps my favorite part of the internship is just being at the Clark and being surrounded by art that inspires me, and an atmosphere that motivates me to contribute my creativity,” Engle said.
Many B-HIP participants come to MCLA from other universities to take part in the program.
Emily Musial of Troy, N.Y. (right), a recent graduate of Moore College of Arts & Design in Philadelphia, Pa., works at the Ferrin Contemporary art gallery, where she concentrates on installation, curation, and gallery management.
“I’ve been getting a really comprehensive education in what it means to represent an artist, put together shows and events, install and transport work, and be a part of the management side of the arts community,” Musial said.
“I think the best part has been immersion in an environment that is so vital,” she continued. “I learn so much, so consistently, and am always meeting new people, finding new methodology, and having my own ways of thinking subverted and challenged.”
As her college career drew to a close last semester – despite having experience in internships and jobs with a number of different organizations – Musial found herself wanting additional experience before she entered the arts management field.
“I began to perceive the administrator as the driving force, the enabler to art’s greatest impact and potential, and knew that this was something I wanted to be a part of,” she said.
Ultimately, Musial aims to be her own boss in an arts organization, such as a gallery or venue for the arts and education, as she makes her own contributions to bolstering the arts and empowering people and communities to take part in it.
“Working with Ferrin Contemporary has been great!” she said.
Engle, too, is happy with his B-HIP experience: “Not only am I participating in the internship, but the classroom work, group outings and visits from professionals in the field are a tremendous learning experience that I know I will draw from years from now.”