SAM Art: Some Thoughts from Our Interns, Part I

For this week’s SAMart, I would like to share with you the reflections of two summer interns I have been lucky enough to work with for the past several weeks. Katie Tieu and Jasmine Graviett have been friendly, thoughtful, conscientious, and eager colleagues this summer, and will be missed when they go back to their “real” lives—as a sophomore and a senior in high school, respectively.
-Sarah Berman, Collections Coordinator and Research Associate

My Experience Here At SAM

By: Katie Tieu

My name is Katie, and I am a YWCA GirlsFirst intern. GirlsFirst is an all girls program that teaches us life lessons, how to stay on track in high school, and how to succeed in life. GirlsFirst also helps us get internships by teaching us skills that we need to use to get a job. They taught us many things, like how to type a resume, cover letter, and how to talk properly in an interview. They had a list of jobs for girls to apply for, and I was hired by the Seattle Art Museum to be a Human Resources intern. I am working here for 8 weeks during my summer break, but it’ll be ending soon.

Being here at SAM is very fun and such a great experience. While I was here, I saw and learned how the museum actually operates. I also got to see the exhibitions and the permanent collection here, and what can I say? IT WAS AMAZING. Just by looking at each detail an artist includes is very mind blowing. Like this painting. It was created by Jackson Pollock and is called Sea Change, painted in 1947. Does it look like any ordinary painting that anyone can do? That’s what I thought. But, look closely, every detail you see on the canvas was planned and thought about before it was there.

I was very fortunate to work with other employees in addition to my supervisor in Human Resources. By having this experience, I worked in different departments and learned how many different departments work. I was also able to work with another YWCA GirlsFist intern named Jasmine Graviett. We worked on all kinds of projects together, and that was very fun.

Also being here at SAM, I have learned how Seattle Art Museum was started. I was able to see the very first building where the Seattle Art Museum begun. It is now the Seattle Asian Art Museum, and it is located in Volunteer Park, The Asian art pieces displayed are simply beautiful! It does not have as many art pieces as SAM downtown building has but they still have plenty to see! Here is one of my favorite ones from the Seattle Asian Art Museum.  This was made in China during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and it’s a guardian.

Guardian, 15th-16th century, Chinese, Ming dynasty (1368-1644), gilded bronze and pearl, 29 x 19 3/4 x 12 5/8 in., Eugene Fuller Memorial Collection, 33.819

I also got to check out the Olympic Sculpture Park, which is located near the waterfront. This place is so amazing. All of the sculptures there are so gorgeous! They are not as many art works here but there is enough to walk around and take pictures with. I was lucky enough to have one of the curators here give us a tour and explaining what each sculpture was about. Here is one of my favorite sculptures at the Sculpture Park.  The one in the background that looks like a box is called Air Below Ground, and that one was my favorite out of the whole tour!


“On-Site” installation view with works by Nicholas Nyland (foreground) and Carolina Silva (background), Olympic Sculpture Park, 2011, Photo: Robert Wade


Overall, being here at SAM was very fun. I enjoyed my summer here and I don’t want my experience here to end. This summer is one of the best summers I can ever ask for. In the future I will be able to use the things I’ve learned here at SAM.

Just being here made me connect with art more then I did before. I enjoy art much more and I am very interested in learning more! My experience here was amazing and I will definitely come back to SAM to check out more of the new galleries in the future!