Friday, September 10, 2010

New Semester, New Internship

Some time has passed from my last entry and a lot of things have happened.

Most notably, I am back in Florida and three weeks into the semester.

Also, I have yet another internship (now called a "practicum" for reasons I don't quite understand). This time around, I'm at the Florida Museum of Natural History (or, FLMNH), working in the education department, developing programs for seniors and adults. I am completely thrilled with this assignment. I have had programming experience in the past, so this project seems totally accessible to me-- yet I've never programmed for adults, so it's new and challenging. In short, I'm stoked.

In other happenings, one of my intern projects from the Detroit Institute of Arts is now in full swing. DIA: Inside|Out has been featured in the Detroit Free Press, Canadian Press, CBC, Detroit News, Metro Times, USA Today, Crain's Detroit Business, and!

That Canadian Press article was also featured in a dorky professional newsletter that I get, called Dispatches from the Future of Museums.  It's actually one of my favorite museum news sources, so I was really excited to see the project featured there.

Inside|Out seems to be getting a great reaction from the public, but really, how could it not? I've had several friends back in the Detroit area tell me about various paintings that they have seen around town.

It's been so rewarding to see (even if it's from a distance) this project come to fruition and be so successful. I'm really happy with the way the paintings and labels turned out. For a while, it looked as if the labels would be cluttered with corporate sponsors' logos, or be made of low-quality materials... but they look fantastic! I'm really glad that our committee held their ground with that issue.

All 40 reproductions should be installed by the middle of September, but a bunch of them are already in place-- including one on everyone's favorite Italian restaurant.  Here are a few shots of our little piece of the DIA (click on any one of them to enlarge):

The Fruit Vendor

The painting is located right next to our kitchen door

Though this photo is reminiscent of a "Where's Waldo" book, the painting is still visible.  Can you find it?

A map of all the locations and artworks can be found here.  And the DIA website, of course, has a little feature on it as well.

More photos of the various paintings can also be found at the Inside|Out flickr site.

I can only hope that my current internship will pan out to be as rewarding and educational as my time at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Already, I think this practicum was a good choice for me. I was wavering back and forth about what classes to take this fall, and when I had one schedule slot left to fill, I didn't want to settle for a course that wasn't of great interest to me. So, I decided to go a different route and spend 9 hours / week at the Florida Museum of Natural History. From the few meetings I've had, and the bit of initial research that I've done, I can tell that this will be 3 credits well spent.

Certainly, the FLMNH differs from the DIA in many ways, including content, size, location, and budget. Yet, I can already see many similarities in the general operations and some of the challenges that have been discussed-- many of which I think are universal among museums of all kinds.

So this just leaves me wondering... when will we be installing these in surprising locations around Gainesville?


  1. Jess, I was telling a chess playing co-worker tonight, (9/10,) about your summer blog about the Detroit Chess club. He was really interested in seeing it, especially because he runs a small chess club at his daughter's school. So, I have been pouring throughout the internet tonight, trying to find your blog,-unsuccessfully..

    I'm just about to give up, and I go back to FB and there you were posting your new version of the blog! Yeah! I found the Chess club piece, and he is reading it as I type! Thanks!

    btw-I'm going to swing by the Roma tonight, on the way home from work, to see the new edition.


  2. Hi Ace! Yeah, I think I have my blog set up so it's not searchable-- it's really just a project for school. But go ahead and share it with anyone you'd like.

    You should definitely stop by and see the painting on the Roma. My dad took those pictures in this entry, but I'm sure it's even better in person!

  3. Gosh, I haven't been in there in a week or so. that's rare!

    Miss ya!