As the world inTerns: Episode One 07.14.09
In this episode of the riveting, angsty, daytime drama, work-study intern, Nick Meloro, confesses all.
What is the truth about interning at SPACES? Where do I begin? You might want the dirty secrets of the back room. Or maybe you think Ill tell you what is in the vault? Or who danced with whom at Mambo Muerto? It is all juicy stuff; however, Ill start with an introduction:
My name is Nick Meloro and I am on the precipice of my senior year as an English major at Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio. Ive been a work-study intern at SPACES for over a year now.
But what does that mean? Clearly I work and I study, but thats hardly descriptive, or entertaining or accurate. In my time here, Ive learned how to work a hundred year old elevator (which I thought I got stuck in earlier today), hang a painting, deflate an inflatable white elephant, install a wall mounted television and create a lovely platter of strawberries and cream puffs. Sometimes this can all happen in one day at SPACES.
As the lone English guy among a barrage of fantastic CIA studio art lads and ladies who are interning, Communications Manager, Nicole Edwards, and Senior Marketing and Development Manager, Sarah Hoyt, have been so kind in including me in their work. Ive edited for gallery publications and even worked on grant reports. Ah words"my element. A surprisingly fascinating aspect of the world of professional art is how it is financed and supported by its community. It is an art all its own.
In the non-profit world of SPACES, I quickly learned it is never a question of finding great art or artists in Cleveland, it is finding the means of supporting them and people interested in seeing them. Something to talk about later: artists are a temperamental species"they must be housed and fed and clothed. The nerve. They like to be appreciated too.
Im getting off the topic. Im talking about interning. In my time here, SPACES has pushed my comfort zone, really. Clearly Im comfortable with cream puffs, who isnt? Gallery Manager, Marilyn Simmons, however, enjoys putting me in boundary pushing positions. Many times, I, a terrible driver, am shuttling paints, or flowers, or Israeli artists across downtown Cleveland. Sometimes Marilyn asks me to carry a ceramic piece worth the equivalent of the tuition for my senior year across the gallery. I can only describe it as terrifyingly wonderful.
Yet taking these personal risks can be rewarding (yay I didnt break it!) and at the end of the pay period, I have a nice check for what seems less like work and more like, let us say going to the gym. I dont always feel like coming every day, but it is worth it to do so. Im exercising my brain; it is challenging! It isnt always glamorous"there are the quintessential intern activities: addressing three hundred envelopes, doing the recycling, etc.
However, there is a constant of creativity and imaginative, innovative thinking. SPACES is stimulating. Im pumping up those muscles I dont often use. I push the synapses in my brain to reach further and deeper, and create meaning out of what I see and experience. And Im not even talking about the art yet. It is all in a days work here at SPACES.
Until next time,
Nick, the English Guy