For the first time in its history, the Cornell BFA department started arranging internship positions for Fine Arts majors in the Cornell in Rome program (yeah!!!). With the enormous efforts of Professors Shara Wasserman and Stan Taft, different types of internship positions were arranged for those who had applied.
Internship places vary according to each student’s interest: individual artists, art galleries, artist residencies, the American Academy in Rome, and so on. Although English is spoken in all the places, it definitely provides a good opportunity to learn more Italian, too.
Every Monday, students attend a one-hour internship meeting session with Professor Wasserman to share their experiences and to discuss questions/concerns they may have about any aspect of the internship. Students are also required to keep a journal regarding their experiences to be submitted at the end of the semester. It has been about a month since most people have begun with their internships; everyone seems quite satisfied with their jobs.
I have been interning at Spazionuovo, a contemporary art and design gallery newly opened in Rome last year. The gallery promotes emerging artists from Europe and Latin America, and introduces modern design furniture as well. Two experienced gallerists, Guillaume (who is French) and Paulo (Argentinian) run the place; naturally, I am exposed to a lot of spoken and written Italian, French, Spanish, and English.
At the gallery, I do various types of general administrative work such as greeting guests, advertising the gallery, and communicating with collectors, institutions, and the press. My major responsibility is to create press releases and catalogs for each show; translating and proofreading texts written in English is another task of mine. It has been quite busy these days because we are also preparing for the Milan Image Art Fair, an art fair specially dedicated to fine art photography. I will probably attend the art fair with Guillaume and Paulo in May. Due to their big interest in American artists, I do lots of research on the American contemporary art market as well.
I work about 10 hours a week, but recently I have been spending more time there as I find the working process quite enjoyable. The extensive amount of research I do has been very helpful for expanding my scope of knowledge in art. These two energetic and fun gentlemen have interesting backgrounds; just being able to hear their perspectives and views about the world is one of the most precious experiences I gain day by day. It is pretty amazing how none of us are Italians and communicate to each other in a language that is not a mother tongue for any of us.