WMA summer interns experience museum life first hand

What does it take to run a museum? Sarah Ivey and Brandon Rice got a behind-the-scenes look this summer as they completed internships at WMA. The two art students from Troy University’s main campus gained experience serving as docents, assisting in summer camps, installing exhibitions, and volunteering at museum events.

WMA’s staff loved working with these two and getting a chance to know them during the last several months, and we wanted to ask them a bit about their time at the museum and how it might shape their future careers. Here’s what they said:

What was your favorite thing about interning at WMA this summer? 
Brandon: My favorite part about working at the museum this summer was seeing how an exhibition is installed. Seeing the care and time put into hanging and installing each piece was very interesting. The most interesting part about the installation was witnessing how different a piece looked before and after it was hung.

Sarah: My favorite thing about the internship at WMA was being involved in the kids camps over the summer. It was great to see them light up with creativity, solve problems that might arise when creating art work and just truly enjoying the process.

What was the most surprising thing about your experience?
Brandon: 
Nothing was exceptionally surprising, but if I had to say anything surprised me it would be the fact that I didn’t know WMA was as big as it really is.

Sarah: Over all I didn’t know what the experience here would be like, but it was very eye opening to see how an art museum operates. I had no idea that WMA was so involved with the community and how much they do to reach all age groups around the Wiregrass.

How has your internship at WMA influenced your future plans? 
Brandon: As someone who is interested in more of the commercial art field, such as film, concept art, illustration, etc., this internship hasn’t changed my plans for the future as much, but it has shown me the possibility of me working in a museum.

Sarah: 
The internship has made me consider the possibility of working at a museum once I graduate. I feel that it has allowed me to see what it would be like to work at one and in that environment. Overall, it has been a great experience showing me that potential.

Would you encourage other students in your major to seek out museum internships?
Brandon: I would more encourage art education majors to take this internship just because of the sheer time spent with the museum’s educator. Individuals in the studio program can definitely learn a lot from this internship; however, I feel that potential educators would receive a lot more than studio students.

Sarah: I think as a fine art major it is beneficial to seek out opportunities that may not even be on your radar for the future. It’s a great experience to see how a museum works and what all goes into making that possible. I believe it is a good opportunity for a student to not only get experience with a museum but also get more connected with the artist themselves.

 

Youth Art Education Policy

Outside of tours, family days, and open house events, individuals who are not enrolled in a class are not allowed in WMA classrooms except by written permission of the Executive Director. Parents may not join children in the classroom during instruction times in order to ensure an atmosphere conductive to creativity. It is important to limit the number of adults to keep the focus on the kids, their learning, and to accommodate limited seating in the studio. Parents are welcome to stay in the museum during class but must remain outside of the classroom during instruction time.

Museum educators are experienced in creating positive learning environments for all ages and are required to go through a background check to ensure the safety of our students. Parents and guardians are encouraged to visit the studio at the end of class to see what their child has created. All docents and volunteers working with children are also required to go through background checks.

Thank you for understanding our policy and priority on the safety and well-being of participating students.

Throughout the year, WMA will host “Meet the Educator” days where parents and their children can come to the classroom to meet the instructor before beginning classes and camps. 2019’s schedule is as follows: January 30 from 4pm-6pm, May 29 from 4pm-6pm, and August 28 from 4pm-6pm.