Silver Eye Center for Photography

  • Olivia and fellow intern help Curator David Oresick frame a photo

     

    Behind the Scenes of a Photo Gallery

    Museum Studies Intern at Silver Eye Center for Photography – Fall 2019 

    When I began my internship at Silver Eye Center for Photography, I was pleasantly surprised by just how hands-on my position would be. Just a few weeks after it started, we began preparing for an upcoming exhibition with an Indonesian artist, Leonard Suryajaya. Suryajaya’s artistic vision for the gallery included hanging over 4,000 small prints each covered with 30 tiny mirrors and the application of specially designed wallpaper transformed the walls to complement the thirteen large framed color prints. This exhibition installation was very challenging, but it was so validating to be able to point to exactly where I contributed and to see just how much we could transform the space. I was very excited to be immediately learning new, practical art-handling skills that are essential to museum work. Over the semester, my internship proved more and more helpful and challenging in this aspect. 

    Installing this exhibition encompassed only a fraction of the skills we honed this semester. My very first day my fellow interns and I were tasked with taking apart the last exhibition’s framed works and wrapping them to be packaged and sent back to their respective artists.  

    The first few weeks of my internship were spent getting us familiar with the Silver Eye Lab. As a Studio Arts major, I was very interested in the fact that Silver Eye has its own space for practicing artists in partnership with the gallery. With the help of Lab Manager Sean Stewart, I learned how to print photographs on different media, develop film, edit film, create and assemble mattes and frames, and package artwork for shipping. Because the staff of the center includes only three people, it was not long before the other interns and I were trusted to complete these tasks independently.  

    Now that the semester is coming to an end, I find myself thinking back on just how much I have learned. The guidance of my supervisor, Assistant Curator and Communications Coordinator Kate Kelley, has been invaluable in teaching us exhibition development, marketing strategies, and curatorial writing along with the skills we were taught by Sean Stewart in the lab. Because of the very small staff at Silver Eye, I felt very lucky to be able to foster wonderful relationships with the staff and other interns, as well as get real hands-on experience with everything that happens at a photo gallery behind the scenes. 

    Categories: 
    • Academic Interns
    • Undergraduate Work
    • Collecting Knowledge Pittsburgh
  • Taylor and her fellow interns construct Trisha Holt’s 16 piece, 4'x4' rug.

     

    Curating an Exhibition: From the Ground Up

    Museum Studies Intern at Silver Eye Center for Photography – Fall 2018

    At the start of my internship at Silver Eye Center for Photography, I was selected to collaboratively curate an exhibition with senior staff members and my fellow interns from Point Park University. Our first goal was to find 100 regional photographers for the exhibition. We individually researched artists based on location, then documented our favorites through Pinterest. We have collected seventy-seven photographers altogether, and are now working to narrow the group down to 10-15 photographers, selecting a variety of creative visions and locations. The exhibition will be shown at Silver Eye during the Spring of 2019.

    As part of our training, Silver Eye’s Communications Coordinator Kate Kelley devoted a generous amount of her time and energy into teaching us basic design strategies for email and social media, archiving prints decades old into digital media, and installing artwork. My fellow interns and I also learned about printing photographs, framing images, and properly handling and packaging framed items for shipping in the Lab at Silver Eye from Sean Stewart. Over the past few weeks, I have also had the opportunity to observe and assist in installing two exhibitions: Door into the Dark and The In-Between. During install week for The In-Between, the other interns and I constructed Trisha Holt’s sixteen piece rug, as seen in the attached image. Holt’s “rug” is not made of textile, but rather paper with an enlarged image of a rug that has been expanded into sixteen pieces, creating a four by four work that appears like a rug from a distance. Because the work is intended to be walked upon, we felt that it was essential to curate the piece in such a way that felt inviting for people to interact with.

    These learning experiences will be applied to two upcoming Spring shows at Silver Eye,

    Come April 2019, I will have been a part of four group exhibitions at this location. Working with this organization has  looking forward to continue working with this team next semester, completing the regional photography exhibition, and sharing the images of photographers we have worked so hard to discover.

    Categories: 
    • Academic Interns
    • Undergraduate Work
    • Collecting Knowledge Pittsburgh