All posts in “internship”

beach

Where the Park Meets the Sound

The view from the Olympic Sculpture Park is heavenly. As you sit in one of the vibrant red chairs, you can gaze out on a harbor filled with sailboats, and onto the Olympic Mountains scraping the clouds. The meadow’s colorful flowers bloom and sway with the ocean breezes, and the native foliage is juxtaposed against clean, modernist lines and bold contemporary art to create a visual feast. It’s hard to imagine, with all its runners, dog walkers, and parades of children running through the distinctive Z-path, that this now iconic park was once site to the Union Oil Company of California.

Since it’s birth in 2007, the Olympic Sculpture Park has undergone hefty changes and challenges, but a large portion of the transformation is ongoing. It was World Ocean Day June 8, and there was no better location to celebrate than on the reclaimed rocky shore of the park. As an intern gardener at the park, I work closely with Bobby McCullough, who has been head gardener since the park opened its gravel walkways.  He ensures that water is being used efficiently, and that the naturalized beach area is healthy for park visitors of all kinds, from people to dogs and even harbor seals. Keeping this area in good shape is an important part of the crew’s work: the beach is patrolled for litter almost daily, plants have been placed and cared for to act as a natural buffer, and we even climb the trees to search for troublesome insects. It is safe to say that years after the design implementation, the Olympic Sculpture Park is continually taking efforts to create a clean Puget Sound.

I assist Bobby by hand weeding and performing maintenance, keeping plants healthy and the open space clean and friendly. The park uses organic gardening methods—no pesticides, fertilizers, no harmful chemicals. By using these techniques, it prevents contamination in the soil and on the ground surface, which could then wash into Puget Sound. And what’s even more unique and sustainable than our gardening practices are the plants themselves; they are all native to the Pacific Northwest. Visitors experience four distinct archetypal landscapes at the Olympic Sculpture Park: the valley, the meadows, the grove, and the shore. These series of precincts give the park a sense of regional identity, and reduce water use.  The plants are already adapted to Seattle’s climate, and therefore do not require any additional water. Sprinklers in the park are energy-efficient and only turned on when necessary. Young plants are watered while they become established, but in the future they will require little-to-no watering.

Without a doubt, the sculpture park’s most carefully maintained area is where the park meets the Sound.  The beach features large logs and boulders, perfect for climbing and sitting to admire the harbor. The shore was designed to act as a natural filter, collecting debris that wash up with the tides. Each year after the storm season, usually in February, Bobby organizes a massive clean up to remove trash and treated lumber. Creosote is a substance created through the distillation of tar to preserve wood, and is toxic. It is often used to treat lumber used in structures like boats and docks, and can wash up onto the beach. Each year Bobby removes six to eight tons of this treated wood from the shore to prevent creosote from leaking into the water. This maintenance continues throughout the year, with treated wood removal and daily trash pick-ups.

The shoreline is carefully monitored through a variety of efforts to create safe wildlife habitat. Learn more about the Olympic Sculpture Park and its restoration.

-Stephanie Stroud, Intern Gardener, Olympic Sculpture Park

SAM Remix

Remix: It’s Got What You Need

As a brand-new intern at SAM, my very first assignment involved getting up close and personal with the details of the upcoming Remix (as in tomorrow, Friday, June 7!), and let me tell you, the night is jam-packed with good stuff. After learning about all the events, activities, and performances planned, it’s no surprise I’m counting the hours until the doors open, and you should be, too!

Every quarter, SAM holds Remix, an after-hours, 18-and-older event, drawing hordes of party-goers to SAM Downtown to get an intimate view of the museum’s latest exhibition, test their own art-making abilities at various activity booths, watch some unbelievable dance performances, and, of course, bust a move (or two, or ten) of their own.

This season’s Remix event is centered on the Modern exhibition The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States and promises to be nothing short of a modern explosion and an event that you don’t want to miss.

Come see SAM after dark, this Friday from 8 pm–midnight, when the lights turn low and the jams turn up.

DJ Riz kicks the night off in the Brotman Forum with an irresistible, groove-inducing variety of soul-meets-pop-meets-hip-hop beats.

As if that weren’t enough reason to linger, the Brotman Forum will also play venue to three performances by Seattle’s Alchemy Tap Project, whose dancers bring a whole new modern flavor to tap dancing.

Want even more dance?

Head up to the third floor galleries for Modern art-inspired dance vignettes by Seattle-based Salt Horse.

While you’re there, take advantage of SAM’s aptly-titled My Favorite Things: Highly Opinionated Tours to get a fresh and highly opinionated (surprise!) look at SAM’s Collection Galleries. With a wide array of knowledgeable and outspoken guides to choose from, the only way you could possibly go wrong with these tours is by not taking one.

After seeing Fifty Works for Fifty States, you’ll no doubt be itching to start an art collection of your own (if you aren’t, you might want to get your pulse checked), and SAM’s got you covered.

Head to the Chase Open Studio area where artist Joey Veltkamp and other local artists will be waiting to create and exchange mini artworks with you in the SAM Mini Fair; grab a FREE Remix tote bag to store your goods!

If all this dancing, art collecting, and opinion-hearing has you feeling wiped, swing by the Rec Room for libations at the bar and some good, old-fashioned (but not) bingo. If you’re envisioning a room in Florida with faded floral prints and a slow-moving ceiling fan, stop right there. This is not your grandmother’s bingo (and if it is, you’ve got one cool grandma).

Hosted by the fabulous members of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, this bingo has a modern (art that is) twist with cards featuring pictures of SAM’s favorite modern artworks. One game in, and you’ll be dying to make a habit of it (SAM is not responsible for any pun-related injuries).

With all the excitement and endless stream of options offered, you may just feel like a kid in a candy store. If you want to make that metaphorical candy a reality, TASTE Restaurant is open ‘til midnight to keep your sweet tooth satisfied. Didn’t I say SAM’s got you covered?

Whatever venue you favor, be it the dance floor, the art exhibition and galleries, or any of the numerous SAM creates studios (minimalist jewelry making, anyone?), one thing is for certain: SAM Remix has everything you need to make this Friday a night to remember.

-Carter Stratton, Communications Intern

Photo by Robert Wade.
Skagit River Ranch

World Environment Day 2013: Think Globally, Eat Locally

When you have, as I do, the privilege of living in a setting as beautiful as the Pacific Northwest, nature’s abundance and magnificence are both too easily and too often taken for granted. More difficult, however, is to acknowledge and pursue the changes that need to be made in order to sustain them.

If you’re at all like me (someone with only a modest understanding of environmental issues) and you love nature’s playground here in Washington State, you’re probably thinking: I want to make a difference, but I wouldn’t even know where to begin. Well, fear no more! I recently learned that today, June 5, 2013, marks the 41st annual celebration of World Environment Day (WED).

While WED, like Earth Day, promotes worldwide environmental awareness, it advocates for primarily local participation and action. In doing so, WED enables small-scale involvement and activity and large-scale awareness, encouraging people to think globally, but act locally.

As a new intern in the Communications department, and thus a new member of the “SAM fam,” I wanted to learn how SAM’s environmental efforts pertain to this year’s WED theme, Think.Eat.Save. Think.Eat.Save addresses food-waste and food-loss around the globe and its effects on the environment, an issue I’ve come to learn is taken very seriously by the museum’s own TASTE Restaurant. The TASTE team has made it their mission to support the local community, and since May 2007, when the restaurant opened in the newly expanded museum, they have affirmatively implemented a wide variety of strategies to reduce their food print.  In speaking with Executive Chef Craig Hetherington, I was informed that these efforts include recycling, composting (did you know that most of TASTE’s take-away-food packaging is compostable?), buying organic foods, and supporting local farmers and farms, many of which are within 60 miles of the restaurant. According to Chef Hetherington, purchasing locally is both environmentally and economically beneficial. Supporting local farms allows farmers to continue to and more actively farm sustainably, in turn helping to foster the growth of local farms.

Among the numerous local farms incorporated into TASTE’s edible repertoire are:

  • Skagit River Ranch in Sedro Wooley
  • Stokesberry Chicken in Olympia
  • Neuawkum Farms in Olympia
  • Foraged and Found in Seattle
  • Olsen Potatoes
  • Nash’s Organics in Sequim
  • Tonnemakers Fruits
  • Smith Brothers Dairy

The efforts made by TASTE are among those most widely acknowledged and practiced in the anti-food-waste/loss movement, but such efforts can also be quite costly. If you don’t have the time or, like me, are on a college-student’s budget, you can still make a difference!

Here are a few of the less-costly ways to participate and raise awareness this World Environment Day:

  • Visit your local farmers market and get to know a farmer!
  • Create posters about food-waste/loss and other ways to conserve natural resources around the city. Then take a photo and share it: Follow Seattle Art Museum on Instagram (http://instagram.com/seattleartmuseum), then post photos with #seattleartmuseum.
  • Share an article on Facebook about an issue that you’re passionate about, tell your followers on Twitter about WED and how they can get involved, or post a picture on Instagram to show your friends how you’re making a difference!
  • Visit the Seattle Parks and Recreation website to discover ways to make a difference here in Seattle, such as planning a park cleanup!
  • Plant and sustainably cultivate food at home
  • Compost
  • Encourage friends and family to get involved
  • Think before you eat and help save our environment!

With summer in sight there’s no better time to ‘give back’ to this glorious place that we are lucky enough to call home.  Now let’s get out there and make a difference!

 

Facts about Food Waste/Loss

-Caroline Sargent, Communications Intern

TASTE Restaurant’s Executive Chef Craig Hetherington paying a visit to Skagit River Ranch. Photo: Clare Barboza.
Bush School senior and SAM intern Samantha Simon

Sam at SAM: Through the Back Door

On my first day at the Seattle Art Museum (SAM), I was a nervous, fidgety high school senior from The Bush School who entered through the back door on Second Avenue. Fumbling with my purse I told the security guard, “Um…My name’s Samantha Simon. I think I should have a badge up there.” A shaky hand pointed to the wall filled with SAM IDs and sure enough, my face was among them. It was official: I belonged at SAM. Taking multiple wrong elevators, not realizing the museum is closed to the public on Mondays, I finally made it up to the correct 5th floor where I greeted my supervisor. Sarah Berman, Collections Coordinator and Research Associate at SAM, patiently showed me to my desk where four large coffee table books awaited me.

I smoothed my dress. “Pick a piece of art,” she told me. After a year of art history, I still hadn’t been exposed to anything past the Rococo, so when I scanned through a book labeled Contemporary Art, my mind went wild. I found a beastly wooden sculpture entitled Bovine by a local artist named Whiting Tennis. Showing Sarah, she told me that I was to write a biography on who owned that piece before it came to the museum; the technical term for this history of ownership is provenance.

For the next three days, I poured my caffeine-driven energy into finding out every piece of information I could about Greg Kucera, owner of the Greg Kucera Gallery in Pioneer Square, Seattle, and donor of Bovine. I worked in the shadows printing anything relating to Mr. Kucera, from graduation announcements to gallery reviews, and putting them in a growing pile on my desk. Finally, when I sat down to write, the words came naturally. By the end, I presented the man’s life story thus far in two pages.  After writing about Greg Kucera, I was so excited about contemporary art. I moved on to Robert and Honey Dootson, Asian and contemporary art collectors who have now passed away. Quickly becoming an obsession, I combed through SAM catalogues from the ‘70s and used the SAM library to my fullest advantage. Seattle Times articles from the 1960s became my best friend as I researched for fifteen hours, and when it came time to write, four detailed pages magically appeared. Another life: captured.  Finally, still newly fascinated with contemporary art, I decided to write about Sidney and Anne Gerber, Native American and contemporary art collectors, who had also passed away. Five pages quickly emerged.  Soon, my biographies on Greg Kucera, the Dootsons, and the Gerbers will make their way into SAM’s art database, and will be available to the public in the coming years. It’s an amazing experience to know that, because of me, those people’s stories will be heard.

Along with writing these biographies in the curatorial department, I was also given the opportunity to explore and volunteer in other departments. From conservation to registration to education, I explored SAM widely in my three weeks and learned about how a museum operates. Ducking in and out of ventilating systems, industrial elevators, and lighting rooms, I felt like a character in Narnia as I would turn a darkened corner and enter into a serene museum gallery surrounded by tourists. Like the siblings returning from Narnia, I wanted to tell the patrons about what they might be missing. I saw a room of art storage two stories high, a room behind the Porcelain Room with lighting panels to the ceiling where taped to them were practical jokes, and a conservation lab containing every chemical imaginable where a Jackson Pollock was being restored.  Of course, as a SAM patron, one may never know about any of this. The calm gallery floors are a stage and we, the staff and volunteers, the puppet-masters on the other side, have the privilege of sneaking around behind the scenes waiting for the curtain to rise, making sure the art receives the undistracted recognition it deserves.

This fall I will be leaving for college and as I will soon be finished at the museum (at least for this summer) I leave my own personal Narnia behind by exiting through the same door, but different from the way I came: More confident, independent, and ready to take my next step.

SAM Remix, March 8, 8 pm-midnight

Remixed for the Very First Time

As the newest PR intern, it is slightly embarrassing for me to say that I have never been to SAM Remix, but this March 8 will be my very first time. As disconcerting as my lack of experience may be, I have made up for it with enthusiastic research and comprehensive interviews, which I believe present an authentic representation of the evening. It is my deepest desire that the following information may help other Remix newbies better prepare themselves for the upcoming SAM Remix. Continue Reading…

It’s Elles REMIX Style

Before moving to Seattle to start my fall internship at the Seattle Art Museum this past August, I had already developed an appetite for Remix. I’d never been to one on my many visits to the Northwest but I had seen the posters—shiny, glossy and wickedly designed, I wanted, needed to know more about SAM’s quarterly event.

Aimed at engaging and building relations with young adults, SAM’s Remix events align ever so nicely with the museum’s special exhibitions to create a dance-party-meets-fine-arts experience that gets under your skin in the best way. This fall’s French import Elles: Women Artists from the Centre Pompidou, Paris weaves its way seamlessly throughout this month’s Remix at SAM Downtown on November 9 from 7:30 pm–12:30 am; showing that ladies can hang with the boys and party just as hard.

DJ Michele Myers kicks off the night in the Brotman Forum with intoxicating rhythms and beats from pop, local favorites, soul and just about anything else you can dream of to keep you dancing your pants off. Watch as choreographers Linda Austin, Anne Furfey and Amy O perform excerpts from Ten Tiny Dances on a 4×4 foot dance floor throughout the night. Enjoy the musical styling’s of Hollis and The Pytons as they perform sets from ACT Theatre’s These Streets—an homage to the grunge movement in Seattle with a feminine twist. Curated by Gretta Harley and Sarah Rudinoff, these sets are sure to get the blood pumping and bring out your long dormant grunge kid.

Head on over to the Arnold Board Room to rest those tired dogs while testing your mettle and your knowledge of pop culture, sports, film and more at the Women All-Stars Trivia with Geeks Who Drink. Or earn your Artistic License with Erin Shafkind at her Department of Artistic Licensing with the help of Jenny Zwick and Tessa Hulls. It’s like the DMV only fun.

Let your activist self run free in the South Hall and create Take Action Buttons with Janet Fagan. Too much activism and not enough space?  Create a Power Band with Romson Bustillo to showcase your inner superhero! Put your thinking cap on at the Second Floor Think Tank and ask yourself Can Women Really Have It All? Join Vivian Phillips and Priya Frank as they explore questions raised by Elles: Pompidou through interactive activities. Give your brain a break and mosey on up to the Fourth Floor Galleries and listen to Seattle Symphony Orchestra harpist Valerie Muzzolini Gordon while she performs music inspired by Elles: Pompidou’s French roots.

But wait there’s more! (Isn’t there always?) It wouldn’t be Remix at the museum without the My Favorite Things: Highly Opinionated Tours. Happening periodically throughout the entire night, the tours are led by short folks, tall folks, artistic folks, academic folks and just about everyone else in between to offer up their opinions, whether good or bad, about the art and artists featured in the Elles: Pompidou exhibit.

Beimnet Demelash with “Some/One,” 2001, Do Ho Suh (Korean, works in America, born 1962), stainless steel dog-tags, nickel plated copper sheets, steel structure, glass fiber reinforced resin, rubber sheets, 81 x 126 in. overall, Barney A. Ebsworth Collection, 2002.43, © Do Ho Suh.

Reflections on a summer at SAM

It is my pleasure to introduce another intern we have been lucky enough to work with this summer. Beimnet Demelash has been a terrific colleague–it is difficult for us to believe that she is still in high school! Without further ado, here are Beimnet’s thoughts about her summer with us at SAM.

-Sarah Berman, Collections Coordinator and Research Associate

Nobody really knows what happens on the 5th floor of the museum. Everyone just thinks the art is placed there for them to look at and don’t understand how much work it takes for everything to go smoothly in the museum. All of the hard work is done on the 5th floor, whether it’s planning exhibitions, sending out invitations, planning events, or raising money for the museum. The staff on the 5th floor does it ALL.

This summer I have had the pleasure of working as a YWCA intern for the Seattle Art Museum. I have worked on a lot of different things that I feel will prepare me for any office job, things like entering data into different databases, filing, filling out paperwork by hand, mailings and much more. Some of these things were challenging at first, but after asking the right questions I got the hang of it.

My favorite part of my internship was giving a tour of my three favorite pieces of art in the museum. My three choices were “A Country Home”, “Man and Mouse”, and “Some/One”. I was very scared at first, but once I got in front of the art I knew exactly what I was going to say. Another thing that made everything go smoothly during the tour was the fact that everyone was very involved in the conversation. I want to say Thank you to my supervisors and the staff for helping me step out of my comfort zone and talk about the things I loved about those three pieces of art.

I thought my biggest challenge as an intern this summer was going to be adapting to the office environment, but everyone is very nice and helpful and best of all they all know that it’s ok to have fun while working. As a 15 year old that made everything easy to learn and more fun. I love being able to laugh and have fun during work. I think that the goofing off helped bring me closer to everyone. I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else this summer. Thanks again to everyone on the 5th floor for making this an amazing internship!

-Beimnet Demelash, YWCA GirlsFirst Intern, 2012

Beimnet Demelash with “Some/One,” 2001, Do Ho Suh (Korean, works in America, born 1962), stainless steel dog-tags, nickel plated copper sheets, steel structure, glass fiber reinforced resin, rubber sheets, 81 x 126 in. overall, Barney A. Ebsworth Collection, 2002.43, © Do Ho Suh
occidentalis

Sarah Bergmann: The Birds and the Bees

It will be the most comfortable Birds and Bees conversation you’ll ever have…

All over the US, pollinating insects and other pollinators (big shout-out to birds and bats!), which are vital to the well being of plants, the diets of many animals, and almost 1/3 of the food we eat, are struggling to survive. The Western Honeybee, for example, has almost completely disappeared on the west coast despite its role in pollinating some of your favorite foods: tomatoes, avocados and even delectable summer snacks like cherries and blackberries!

With these vital insects compromised, one woman, one hero has emerged! In the face of this pollination crisis, Sarah Bergmann, an artist and ecological designer, has taken the challenge to design and plant a one-mile Pollinator Pathway through downtown Seattle. The pathway runs along Colombia Street beginning at Seattle University and finishing at Norah’s Woods. It is a series of normally grass sidewalk strips transformed into pollinator friendly gardens. The plots and pollinator specific plants are maintained by the local homeowners and with their help, these insect populations can flourish.

Sarah will be at the Olympic Sculpture Park every Saturday throughout this August and up until September 15th to talk more about her project, the plants, the pollinators, and what you can do to help. Come down and learn different ways that you can help protect these pollinators! The tours begin at 11am and continue on to the pathway itself.

Feel free to join in the conversation after your morning OSP yoga session ends at 11:30!

You can keep thinking Plants & Pollinators at www.pollinatorpathway.com

Summering at SAM

This summer, I have had the pleasure of working with a number of talented interns in the Curatorial division. Today, I share reflections from Sophia Green, whose project focused on background research for a future exhibition project.  -Sarah Berman, Collections Coordinator and Research Associate

As an art history major at Middlebury College interested in the museum world, my decision to apply to SAM’s internship program was a no-brainer. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my summer than working in a museum with such a longstanding commitment to fine art in the Seattle community. Growing up in Seattle, I have many fond memories at SAM. Spanning over a decade, they began in elementary school when my first grade class lined up by the Hammering Man, waiting impatiently for the museum doors to open. Over the years, my family and I brought many out-of-town guests and family to the museum. As I grew into my own and truly adopted a passion for art, I visited the museum alone and explored the collections for hours. Upon receiving the internship, I was thrilled to add another experience to my SAM memory book.

During my time spent in the curatorial department of SAM, I worked primarily on a specific research assignment. I am certain that the research assignment strengthened my critical thinking and problem solving skills. I received a unique insight into the museum’s inner workings by performing odd jobs, such as making wall labels, cataloging books, and archiving images. In the curatorial wing, I was surrounded by SAM’s curators and staff who incredibly helpful and friendly. While incredibly busy, they always had time to say hello, answer any question I might have had, or offer me some delicious chocolate or exotic tea. During my time, I also attended a luncheon at the Asian Art Museum for all the interns and received a private tour of the permanent collections.

I greatly enjoyed my internship at the SAM and would readily recommend it. My internship was interesting, intellectually stimulating, and greatly informational. It was invaluable being surrounding by such bright, passionate people who are committed to the museum. It was also a treat to be located in downtown Seattle where I got to explore the hole-in-the-wall restaurants and cafes in Pike Place Market during my lunch breaks. The summer has flown by too quickly and I hope to stay involved with SAM for years to come.