2023 Summer Interns: K Barnes
The Chrysler has always been a core part of my childhood, and this summer, I had the great pleasure of being part of the team. I had the opportunity to be surrounded by beautiful pieces of artwork, take position behind the scenes, and get to work with people I usually wouldn’t get to interact with. I’m a rising senior at the illustrious Norfolk State University, pursuing Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in graphic design. As an aspiring Graphic Designer, I want to have a career in branding and animation. I saw this internship as an opportunity to know the Chrysler Museum and broaden my horizons in the art world and its many fields. As an intern in Public Engagement and Learning, I gained experience, as well as developed my time management skills, collaborated with others, and explored my creativity through several projects.
Camps/Tours: I also enjoyed constructing tours and art-making activities for families and kids. I took part in designing tours for the D’Art Steam Summer Camp, where I selected 4-6 artworks that pertain to the theme each week from June to August. Another was Sheriff Baron’s Campers, on behalf of Michael Berlucchi, where another intern, Ally DelDonna, and I worked together to create Search for the Sea. We developed a water-themed Museum tour and hands-on lesson on July 13th and 20th. The campers learned how to make and decorate origami boats and dioramas. I also enjoyed assisting the kids of Camp Chrysler, where they engaged with different media for weekly art projects inspired by other artists and styles. I saw what the kids could create with the various artistic themes that piqued their interest. For one week, I helped Kristen Martinez to create portraiture of themselves and their pets. I made a few pieces myself as examples and even brought one of my self-portrait self as inspiration.
Events/Planning: I loved using my creativity when it came to the events here at the Chrysler. In the early days of the internship, Ally and I participated in the Earth, Wind, and Fire Family Festival where our primary project were DIY windchimes. We were stationed in the Museum’s Wonder Studio, where families came to decorate our pre-made bases (made out of cork coasters and yarn) with bells, beads, and other accessories. We also created a wind tunnel where visitors could put lightweight objects like feathers and scraps of ribbon to make them fly. We also made flame table toppers for the fire section at Mary’s Garden, where we stuffed and attached tissue paper to small terracotta pots. For later events, we also applied the table topper idea to the museum’s Juneteenth event, Freedom on Film, where we made an assortment of paper flowers in the colors of the Black Liberation Flag. For the Pride Rainbow Rodeo, I came up with the idea of Pride Planters, which were terracotta pots painted in different pride flag colors (a nod to the progressive pride flag), filled with fake succulent plants and decorative rocks.
Graphics: One of my primary assignments for this internship was to create an activity guide for the porcelain gallery. My goal was to make 18th-century porcelain more accessible for kids and families by encouraging close looking and inspiring creativity. I organized the activity guide by common themes in the collection: form, pattern, flora and fauna, and an open-ended design activity. I also designed a mascot for the activity, Lady Grey (like the tea), a black court lady who needs to prepare afternoon tea. For her design, I was inspired by 18th-century English and French court fashion, artwork such as the Portrait of Jean-Baptiste Belley by Anne-Louis Girodet and Portrait of Dido Elizabeth Belle Lindsay and Lady Elizabeth Murray by David Martin, and media such as Netflix’s Bridgerton. I want to highlight that Black people were and still are influential members of society, compared to the usual story of the enslavement of people of color, which sadly has been absent in taught history. On behalf of the Communications department, I was also tasked to find artwork from the collection that pertains to the elements of art and principles of design to update the Wonder Studio activity guide. I designed object labels for the artwork for the upcoming exhibition, Reckonings and Reconstructions: Southern Photography from the Do Good Fund. I had to format 49 labels from three sections of the exhibition in Adobe Indesign. This project expanded by my practical knowledge with the Adobe Suite and I think it will help me with my studies and my future endeavors. I would like to thank Desi Mihaylov and Cassie Rangel for guiding me and offering resources with these exciting projects.
My gratitude goes out to all of the people who helped me throughout my time at the Chrysler Museum. I will always cherish the knowledge and insights I’ve received from colleagues in other professions, and I’ll carry those relationships with me throughout my career.