A Guide to Gallery Internships: Part 3

Hello!  Welcome to the third and final part of our Guide to Gallery Internships.  If you have yet to check out Part 1 or Part 2, feel free to read about the beginning process of achieving your perfect gallery internship before you read on.

This post is all about getting the most out of your new internship while you are there.  After you took the time to write an exceptional resume and wowed the gallery director with your interview, you've landed an internship position with a local gallery - congratulations!   Now it's time for the real work to start.  Here are a few tips on making the most of your position.

Be genuinely curious -  Now that you are working in an artistic space, you'll want to get to know everyone who walks through the door.  When artists visit to install or see work, get to know them and ask about their artistic practice or previous experiences working with galleries.  Also speak with gallery directors about details on how the gallery is run.  For example, questions regarding curatorial decisions and event planning are key to understanding the job and will help your professional decisions in the future. 

Say “Yes!” - No matter what the job, always be willing to help.  Chances are, you will be preforming a wide variety of tasks from administrative work to assisting with installations and you should be open to anything.  Keep in mind that you are not too good for any small task.  Yes, you will find yourself doing work such as painting walls, mopping floors and addressing envelopes.  Though these tasks may seem boring and monotonous, you play a key role in helping the gallery to run smoothly and look its best.

Take initiative - Galleries are not always bustling with visitors or helping new artists install work -sometimes things are slow.  For times like this, take initiative to start a new project on your own or ask what gallery directors need help with.  Don’t wait to be told what to do.  In most cases, galleries are run by a small number of people and additional help is always needed.  Even if the tasks is as small as organizing a book shelf, your interest in helping will be appreciated.

Share Yourself - Though it may seem like you are just a sponge, soaking in all the gallery information you can handle, you also need to talk about yourself to others.  As an intern, you have the opportunity to meet incredible people in the field you would like to work in.  Take advantage of your position and get to know anyone you can.  If you are an aspiring artist, speak about your work.  If curatorial or administrative work is more your thing, talk about your previous related experiences.  You never know who is listening and who can help you connect with the right people in the future.

That's all for our Gallery Internship Guide!  We hope this helped you on your journey to a professional career in the art field.  If you have any questions about our personal gallery internship experiences, feel free to leave a comment or email us at mistonlinegallery@gmail.com.