2023 Summer Interns: Kathryn Woliver
Ever since my first art history class, I have been in love with the idea of working at an art museum. Upon finding out I would have the opportunity to intern with a museum I have been visiting for years, I was humbled and amazed. As a Graphic Design major at Old Dominion University, this internship has been an ideal way to not only build my skills on the computer but to study art and design guided by the gifted professionals at the Chrysler Museum. Since my start in late May, I have been tasked with a variety of projects that have challenged me as well as increased my understanding of marketing, public relations work, and Adobe software.
Some of my first projects taught me the process of how graphics are made for exhibitions. This included preparing and rescaling compressed photos to pass on to the Graphics Manager, Cassie Rangel, who would then be able to arrange them in SketchUp. I was grateful to have Cassie show me all the necessary steps in the process of creating an exhibition, including wall color, pedestal sizing, the printing of exhibit labels, and those very intricate details that cannot be overlooked. Not long after that, I was introduced to formatting art object labels by Desi Mihaylov, the Museum’s Graphic Designer, who kindly taught me everything I needed to know about applications like Adobe InDesign and Illustrator. This project in particular gave me an eye for fonts, spacing, settings, and color, and was a great stepping stone to the bigger projects I would be tackling later. So far, I have made art object labels for the Perry Glass Studio’s Assistant Show Peculiar People, Heather Beardsley’s Strange Plants, and the newest photography exhibit arriving in mid-August, Reckonings and Reconstructions: Southern Photography from the Do Good Fund. I also experimented with making wayfinding symbols for an update of the museum’s maps in Illustrator.
Shadowing and working alongside the Director of Communications, Ashley Mars, has been a privilege as she has provided me with wonderful insight on the marketing tactics of such a large entity as the Chrysler Museum. Together we reviewed an advertisement plan for the next 8 months, and I contacted local apartment complexes about Chrysler WorkOUTs. Working with the Communications Manager, Kelly Herring, I photographed many of the summer programs, including Tickle My Ears, Pre-K Art Play, Sheriff Joe Baron’s Summer Camp, and photos for my fellow interns. In addition to photographing events for social media and other publications, I created video content for Chrysler’s social media pages.
I had not previously experienced in-depth work with video editing software. Animating text for an Instagram Reel did take many hours, while maneuvering between many tutorial videos, taking the time to learn keyframes and transitions, going back to re-edit in Illustrator, however the hard work paid off. I surprised myself upon its completion in AfterEffects and I am very grateful to the Communications team for letting me take on such a complex task. The video was posted to social media to help promote Heather Beardsley’s Strange Plants exhibit. After that, I made another Instagram Reel using Adobe’s beta version of “Adobe Express” to promote Chrysler Art Studio.
While working here I have become more familiar with the design process, the flow of making material, taking in any new critiques, adapting and coming forward with improved work.
While working here I have become more familiar with the design process, the flow of making material, taking in any new critiques, adapting and coming forward with improved work. I was excited to take on jobs where more of my creative license was shown, including putting together Glass After Dark posters, photography for publishing, or drawing up the designs for Public Engagement and Learning bookmarks. While conceptualizing the bookmark designs, I thought about what I appreciate about the Chrysler, and decided I wanted it to be playful. The first design I worked on was meant to resemble the cut-out works of Matisse, who’s work is in the Museum’s collection. Another design was meant to be a stain-glass window representative of the wide collection of glass objects held at the Chrysler Museum and the Perry Glass studio. Overall, it was one of my favorite projects to work on because I enjoy the mental design process– drawing, picking colors, and the satisfaction of having it come full circle!
Outside of working within my department, this internship has granted me new connections and friendships among the other interns. At our weekly meetings, not only did we have time to discuss literature related to museum studies and engage in important conversations around educational institutions, we also had time to catch up and learn about what everyone else had been assigned to do in their section of the Museum. Having weekly meetings where we came together either to learn about the essential people keeping the Chrysler functioning, discussing the meaning of awe, or visit the historic Myers house, has added a higher level of enrichment for me. I have come to more deeply appreciate my local history as well as the Chrysler’s inner workings.
Overall, I feel this internship opportunity has gifted me a summer of learning and experience which I will put to use as I continue down the path of college and career. It is with much gratitude I thank the Communications Team for trusting and guiding me to contribute in meaningful ways to the Museum. There is no doubt this adventure has further engrained my love of the arts and the appreciation I have for cultural institutions that carry our society.