The inner workings of the Smithsonian are hectic and complex. However, it has been very clear to me that through all of the hustle and bustle of the office there is a master plan that keeps everyone working together. This master plan, more times than not, turns out to be rooted within the common goal everyone is working to achieve. The goal at the Smithsonian Museum of African Art is as complex as it is simple. Educate others, tell a story, make relevant, appreciate, and understand the art.
This past week my personal tasks and goals have morphed into the museum’s goals and the goals of those around me. Everyone, including myself, works together to achieve the tasks that are presented. Even when chaos seems to be taking over, our common goal keeps the museum functioning and moving in the right direction.
My project for this week was assembling a teen focus group to analyze images of objects that will be put into the Ethiopian Devotional Art exhibit next September. In the beginning stages of an exhibition it is important to focus on the audience. The curators must know what the average viewer understands, notices, and classifies as significant. When this is taken into consideration, the exhibit becomes all the more successful. It is the purpose of the focus group to determine these exact aspects.
I formulated questions, provided images, and discussed the process with Chief Curator, Dr. Christine Kreamer. The focus group will be held next week and I could not be more excited!
This internship has already broadened my thinking. I have begun to formulate questions, evaluations, and perspectives in more dynamic ways than before. In addition, with the assistance of Dr. Kreamer I have begun to put more thought into my long term goals and plans after college. She truly has taken the time to become a wonderful and influential mentor. Yesterday she sat down and went through my resume, provided tips, suggestions, and support through every step of the way. Dr. Kreamer cares not only about the museum and the art but everyone involved within it, including me, the intern. She is an inspiration.