Summer Internship at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Georgia

Over summer break, I was given the opportunity to complete an internship at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Georgia, as a part of the Collections department. During my internship, I worked with Ms. Stacey Savatsky, the head of the Collections department, and a team of four other interns. Under her supervision, I, along with my other interns, did research on the artists who MOCA GA exhibits, helped organize the permanent collection, worked at the front desk, and learned how to handle contemporary art. I also helped complete condition reports for the art of Larry Walker, and most importantly, helped deinstall and install exhibits in the public museum itself. I gained many skills during this period, and soon recognized the need to think on your feet in museum curation to prevent catastrophe. One example of this was when the A/C broke in the art vault. There were many pieces which needed to be kept at a cool temperature, so we (the interns) were tasked with setting up many fans to circulate cool air in the vault, in the hour it took the A/C repairman to fix the main problem.

This internship helped me gain much-needed experience in museum work and exhibition design and see the inner workings of museums themselves. I also got to meet and work with several key figures in the Atlanta museum scene, such as Ms. Annette Cone-Skelton, the director of MOCA GA. As I hope to pursue a career in museum curation, the connections I made in the Atlanta art and museum scene and experience I gained at MOCA GA will help me set a manageable and possible career path. While I will always cherish the time I had at MOCA GA, I hope that it will provide a useful stepping stone as I pursue internships at larger museum institutions and apply for Museum Studies graduate programs.

 

Related Art History Learning Outcomes:

  • Take responsibility for direction of education; articulate areas of future development or inquiry).
  • Embrace experiential learning and take responsibility for education (attend events at the Dalton Gallery or other campus events; participate in activities off-campus with artists, galleries, museums, and other venues; connect with the larger art world regionally, nationally, and internationally; articulate paths for future development of individual research).

Blog Post Nine: Final Project Self Evaluation and Class Progress

Credit: “The View from the Night: Front Cover” by Logan Douglas (author) is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

My final project is entitled “The View from the Night.” It contains six pieces, created with a multitude of mediums, of views of the night sky. I chose the subject matter of each individual work based off of several quotes which I found detailing different author’s perspectives of the night (see below). Overall, I was very pleased with how the book turned out. It took quite a bit of work, but the end result is worth it. There are three

pages where I would not change anything, which quite an artistic feat for me. These pages are blood moon page (page two), the starry night page (page three), and the galaxy page (page six). I really love how these turned out,

Credit: “The View from the Night: Cover” by Logan Douglas (author) is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

especially the blood moon. I was pleasantly surprised by the extent to which it came out like I visualized it in my mind.

 

The first page, depicting the encompassing darkness most people associate with night, was not inspired or a favorite of mine by any means. However, I would not change anything about it because I felt like it was a good starting point for the series. In the meteor shower (page four), I wish that I had made the meteor trails a little bit thinner. As it is now, they look like simple lines instead. Because of this, I felt that the painting lost a bit

of

Credit: “The View from the Night: Back Cover” by Logan Douglas (author) is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

the liveliness and wonder I was hoping to capture on that page. Finally, page five’s painting of the Northern Lights was not very well done. I felt like I wasn’t able to catch the lights ethereal quality, with the glare in the sky. The end result was an almost abstract watercolor painting of the basic outline of the lights. I wish that I had found a way to create a better depiction of the Northern Lights.

 

One thing that I was a little hesitant about was how messy the book itself looked. I used charcoal for my first three drawings, so the backs of those pages were

Credit: “The View from the Night: Page One (Darkness) by Logan Douglas (author) is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

covered in charcoal dust. For a while, I was having problems with the watercolor, as water began to congregate in different sections and caused water stains. I was pleasantly surprised about the fact I was mostly able to fix that. Once I put the cover on

 

my problems with charcoal dust were fixed. For all that there were some problems, though, I think the book came together quite nicely. I felt like the simplicity of the book was able to help me reflect my own feelings about the night: that is, it is a time when everything slows down and becomes easier.

Credit: “The View from the Night: Page Two (Blood Moon) by Logan Douglas (author) is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

This semester really challenged my artistic skills. I was

 

very surprised to find that I really enjoyed the class; usually, I’m not a big fan of art classes. While working with some of the mediums, such as watercolor, were difficult, I think I was able to get a good idea of how best to work with charcoals and materials similar to that. I was also surprised by the amount of detail work I was able to perfect.

I can definitely see an evolution in my artistic skills.

Before this class, defining texture

Credit: “The View from the Night: Page Three (A Starry Night) by Logan Douglas (author) is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

in artwork was a foreign concept to me. I was very happy to see how I got a stronger grasp of the techniques I can use to create different types of textures. I also learned to take artistic risks, something that I had not before this class. There are some areas, though, were I still struggle. One of these areas is in defining 3-d space. While I certainly got better at it over the course of the semester, there is still plenty to be done in this area. I certainly need more

 

practice and training in all areas, but I’m pleased with how far I got this semester. All in all, though, while I still am going to focus on

Credit: “The View from the Night: Page Four (A Meteor Shower) by Logan Douglas (author) is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

the art history side of art, I was
very happy to find that I am getting better at  art itself.

 

 

 

Quotes for each page:

Cover: “I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night”- Sarah Williams (“Night Quotes…).

Page One: “The day is for honest men, the night for

Credit: “The View from the Night: Page Five (The Northern Lights) by Logan Douglas (author) is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

thieves”- Euripides (“Night Quotes…).

 

Page Two: “Some nights are made for torture, or reflection, or the savoring of loneliness” – Poppy Z. Bright (“Night Quotes…).

Page Three: “Night hath a thousand eyes” -John Lyly (“Night Quotes…).

Page Four: “Night, when words fade and things come alive” -Antoine de Saint-Exupery (“Night Quotes…).

 

Page Five: “Night is the other half of life, and the better

Credit: “The View from the Night: Page Six (The Galaxy) by Logan Douglas (author) is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

half” -Goethe (“Night Quotes…).

Page Six: “I love the silent hour of night

For blissful dreams may then arise,

Revealing to my charmed sight

What may not bless my waking eyes!” – Anne Bronte (“Night Quotes…).

Works Cited

“Night Quotes (1029 Quotes).” Goodreads, Goodreads, www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/night.

 

 

Blog Post Eight: Research for Final Project

I initially began this project with absolutely no idea what I wanted to do. I had originally played with the idea of looking at the different ways light and darkness intersect with each other before deciding that the idea would be a) rather simple in terms of concept, and b) would be difficult to fully pull off. After much contemplation, I decided to look at the different ways people perceive the night, collecting quotes from authors like Lord Byron and Sarah Williams all the way to Eurpides. I had planned to illustrate the quotes collected over a faint outline of said quote, but quickly lost enthusiasm in the idea. After considering what I love most about the nighttime, I ultimately decided that

I would use the quotes to inform one of my favorite things about the night: the sky. The basic concept is to show a six-panel progression of the night sky, from bad to good. I will start with a basic, starless night. The next panel will involve an ominous blood moon. After that, a basic starlit night sky will take up the third panel, before converting into a meteor shower in fourth panel. After that, the Aurea borealis will take up the fifth panel, as the book moves into the good and wondrous of the night sky. Finally, an illustration of the galaxy as seen during the nighttime from earth will be the last scene. I’ve pulled several images from the internet to help inspire each section. As the night sky is one of my favorite parts of the nighttime, I think it will look great!

Atlanta Contemporary Art: Sheida Soleimani

Medium of Exchange by Sheida Soleimani is a small exhibit in the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center. Soleimani, the daughter of two Iranian political refugees, specializes in creating works of art that are social and political commentaries. In the case of this exhibit, she focuses on the greed of those involved in the petroleum industry (specifically the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries). She mentions the disparity in living conditions between rich profiteers and the everyday citizens in the countries that are part of OPEC, saying that revenue from the oil industry is not used to help the citizens of that country. This exhibit is intended to bring to light the “corruption at the center of the petroleum industry” and encourage people to resist said corruption (Wall Text). It consists of a series of collages and one video created from pictures of political and economic leaders, news reports, and archives relating to the petroleum industry. The exhibit is laid out in an almost nonsensical pattern of free-standing and wall-hanging works. The collages are difficult for people to understand who do not know much about this issue. However, the video that accompanies the exhibit clears up much of this confusion. The exhibit would have benefited if the video was the first thing visitors saw when they entered the exhibit. However, the nature of the space meant that the only place the video could be was in the far right corner of the room. In this way, the exhibit needs some work to truly be effective.

Works Cited

Wall text, Medium of Exchange, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Atlanta, Ga.

Blog Post Seven: Mixed Media Critique

Credit: “Mixed Media” by Logan Douglas (author) is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

I was not particularly thrilled by the outcome of this project. While there were sections I liked, overall the composition looked disjointed and not at all like how I had imagined the final picture. While I understand that attempting to reconcile the artistic styles of old, professional artists with my own amateur art is probably not the best criteria for critique, I was still left dissatisfied, as a whole.
There are some sections which I particularly enjoy. These include the charcoal section (bottom center), the photography section (second to the bottom right), the pointillism section (top center), and the pop art section (bottom left). Several which I was all right with, but not particularly inspired by, were the stained glass (second to the top, left), Rococo (top, right), Baroque (second to the top, right) and expressionism section (second to the bottom, left). I did not like the way the impressionist (second to the top, center), classical sculpture (bottom right), cave painting (top left) and naturalism (second to the bottom, center) sections looked. The cave painting looked more like someone had spilled wine than blown pigment on it, the brush strokes in the impressionist section were too big, the classical sculpture section had no good definition, and the naturalism section turned more into a contemporary Howard Finster painting than a Renaissance naturalism section. The different sections also posed a problem for me because I wasn’t able to get a cohesive picture. As a result, the composition looks more like a bunch of individual pieces glued together in a collage. That being said, I was able to use a variety of materials to create a very interesting array of images. In this way, while I think that my concept was great, the way that it was carried out was less than stellar.

Showing/Thinking Exhibit Final Reflection

Credit: “Showing/Thinking Exhibition Installation (4)” by Logan Douglas (author) is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA
Credit: “Showing/Thinking Exhibition Installation (5)” by Logan Douglas (author) is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA
Credit: “Showing/Thinking Exhibition Installation (6)” by Logan Douglas (author) is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA
Credit: “Showing/Thinking Exhibition Installation (7)” by Logan Douglas (author) is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA
Credit: “Showing/Thinking Exhibition Installation (8)” by Logan Douglas (author) is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

The Showing/Thinking Exhibition was one of the most interesting and challenging projects that I have worked on in a long time. I really enjoyed being able to bring my group’s vision of our exhibit to life; while there are some things that I would change (such as add in some more nods to how gender and class played a role in Dr. Newsome’s life and studies), for the most part I am very pleased about how our exhibit turned out. I really love the wardrobe installation and web, as the web unified our space well and the wardrobe installation looked amazing, As exhibition design and curation in museums is what I want to do when I start my career, I value the chance to experience just a taste of what it might be like. Not only that, but I now have a foundation on which to improve the skills necessary for any future explorations.

My group and I worked together pretty well. I felt that I kind of took over the main logistics of the exhibit, something that I am not sure was good for the whole group. Certainly, there were times where we were not necessarily on the same page, but our group was united in its attempt to get the exhibit completed. While the process sometimes felt slow and the creation of everything that went in our exhibit (especially the quilt) took a while, the finished product was worth it.

Showing/Thinking Exhibit Part Six (March 20-26)

Credit: “Showing/Thinking Exhibition Installation (1)” by Logan Douglas (author) is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

This week we installed the Showing/Thinking exhibit. On Tuesday, after completing the quilt, we hung it on the spiral staircase which leads to the second floor. Amandla and Ofelia also finished their portraits of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, both of which turned out great.

 

Maura’s portrait of

Credit: “Showing/Thinking Exhibition Installation (2)” by Logan Douglas (author) is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

the Obamas was completed as well. We hung the portraits of Malcolm X and MLK, but left the portrait of the Obamas to be hung on Thursday. We also were able to receive our projector for Dr. Newsome’s presentation, make sure that it still works, and mount it on a platform. We did have a problem with the wardrobe, though. It had not arrived, so Ashley reached out to make sure that we could get it by Thursday. I was also able to speak with Leah and give her all of the resources which needed to be printed and framed, as well as the relative sizes we need. Luckily, Leah had some frames which we borrowed for the exhibit, so we didn’t have to buy any.

On Thursday, I drove to JoAnne’s to pick up

Credit: “Showing/Thinking Exhibition Installation (3)” by Logan Douglas (author) is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

the gold yarn needed for the web on our ceiling and to see if they had a good fabric which we could draw the Sankofa symbols on. They did not have any fabric, unfortunately, but we found some leftover scraps downstairs to cover a canvas with. Amandla and I were able to cover the canvas on Thursday, and then finish painting the Sankofa symbols on Sunday. We then installed the Obama’s portrait, stitched the Civil Rights Movement quilt blurbs onto the quilt, hung Dr. Newsome’s framed portrait and that of her grandparents, painted the Maya Angelou and Audre Lorde quotes onto the wall, installed the wardrobe and “I AM A MAN” poster, and started hanging the yarn web on the ceiling. We got about four layers in on the web. It was also decided that instead of a projector, we would display Dr. Newsome’s powerpoint on a TV, as this would mean there was no pedestal blocking the middle of the exhibition room. This was installed the same day.

On Friday our group wrote the wall tags for each of our major pieces and shared them with Leah and Professor Korol so that they could be printed. On Monday, I met with Professor Sanders to choose clothes to be hung in the wardrobe, hooked up the TV and DVD player to play Dr. Newsome’s powerpoint, hung the Sankofa symbol paintings (which already had nails where it would be hung on the wall; all that needed to happen was for the canvases to go on them), and finished hanging an extra three layers of yarn on our web so that it would stand out more. We had a minor panic when the TV power cord went missing, but luckily Anastasia and Leah found it.

It seemed that once we had our materials, everything came together fluidly. Then, it was just a race to get everything done on time. The end result, though, looks great. I hope Dr. Newsome likes it!