Internships and the VCS program

Today’s post is the first in a series that will focus on VCS student internships.

During their time at SVA, many of the students in the VCS program widen their practical experience of the art world by seeking internships that relate to their personal and academic interests. The range of internships they’ve secured has been very broad, with some students working for artists and art galleries, and others finding positions with performing arts centers, design firms, studios, and magazine publishers. Some of these are summer internships, while others occur during the school year. All of them greatly expand students’ knowledge of how the business of art is handled outside academia. Many of these posts are very competitive, and students are fortunate to have had the chance to work with these organizations and people.

In this first entry, I will give a brief descriptive list of the internships our students have had, including a few that are still ongoing. Future posts will discuss some of these in detail, presenting students’ thoughts on their experiences, and more information about the places where they worked.

The entries below are presented in alphabetical order by the students’ last names. The list includes a total of 23 internships held by 16 VCS students and alumni.


Patrick Anderson – ABC Carpet and Home
In Fall 2009, Patrick interned in the Public Relations department at ABC Carpet and Home, a large retailer of contemporary and vintage home accessories, including eco-conscious home appliances.

Katie Armstrong – Vimeo
Before heading off to Leipzig, Katie did an internship with the video sharing site Vimeo, a competitor of YouTube known for its emphasis on fostering creative and artistic content, and for being the first video site to support High Definition playback.

Justin Elm – Abrons Arts Center
Justin did an internship with the Abrons Arts Center performing and visual arts program run by the Henry Street Settlement, a not-for-profit social service agency located in Manhattan’s Lower East Side that has been in operation since 1892.

Matt Engel – Elbow-Toe
Matt worked for Elbow-Toe, a street artist known for placing large-scale and elaborate images around the New York area, using the old wheat paste handbill technique that’s become a staple of a lot of street art.

Gionna Forte – Dieu Donné Papermill
Gionna had an internship at Dieu Donné Papermill, a non-profit artists’ workspace and gallery dedicated to the creation, exhibition and preservation of contemporary art utilizing handmade paper.

Erin Franke – Honey Space
Erin did an internship at Honey Space, an independent, non-commercial art gallery in Chelsea that presents site-specific exhibitions in a raw, unattended space that used to be a warehouse.

Maddy Gentile – PULSE
Maddy interned with the organization that runs the PULSE Contemporary Art Fairs in Miami and New York, and still does occasional freelance work for them. You can read about Maddy’s experiences working at the PULSE Miami fair in December 2009 at this link.

Elektra KB – Swoon
Elektra worked for Swoon, a street artist who has become very well known for the large wheat-paste linocuts prints and paper cutouts that she places in urban areas throughout the US, Europe, and elsewhere.

Sofia Klapischak – Teen Vogue and the Visual Arts Gallery
Sofia has had two internships during her time at SVA. In Summer 2009, she worked for the international magazine publisher Condé Nast, interning with the editors and fashion directors of the magazine Teen Vogue.

Later that Fall, Sofia went on to pursue an internship and independent study program at SVA’s Visual Arts Gallery in Chelsea, working under curator Richard Brooks, during which she learned about curating, archiving, budgeting, and show installation and de-installation.

Eleni Kontos – LaViolaBank Gallery and Choplet Ceramic Studio
Eleni has also had two internships while at SVA. The first was a one-year stint at LaViolaBank Gallery (since renamed Allegra LaViola Gallery) on the Lower East Side, during which she did administrative work and helped hang shows.

After that, Eleni did an internship with Choplet Ceramic Studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The internship lasted for over a year, after which Eleni was given a paid job as manager of the studio.

Tess Lundgardh – Lyle Owerko, Alix Smith, Indika Entertainment Advertising, Ferrin Gallery, and Abrons Arts Center
Tess has had several internships, including: two with photographers Lyle Owerko and Alix Smith; one with the design firm Indika Entertainment Advertising; one with Ferrin Gallery just before their move from Ossining, New York to Pittsfield, MA; and one with the Abrons Art Center at the Henry Street Settlement. (The Abrons Arts Center and Alix Smith internships are still ongoing.)

Jennie Martin – Carnegie Hall
Jennie recently started an internship in the art and design department at Carnegie Hall. (I will post updates about her time there as the internship progresses.)

Jill Pucciarelli – K Records
This summer, Jill did an internship with K Records, a small independent label located in Olympia, Washington that focuses on the pop underground and DIY music. Jill was K’s promotions intern, which involved sending out promo copies of CDs and 12-inch vinyl records, creating flyers, updating the label’s web site, as well as helping out with the slew of other small tasks that have to be shared out among employees in a very small organization.

Shellyne Rodriguez – the Lower East Side Printshop
Shellyne worked with the Lower East Side Printshop, an organization that has grown from a small operation founded by artists during a 1968 teacher’s strike into a not-for-profit arts center that offers publishing, residencies, exhibitions, prints for sale, and educational programming, all of which are geared toward the dual goals of helping contemporary artists and promoting the continued growth of printmaking.

Brooke Tomiello – Kristen Schiele and Debra Hampton
Brooke has done internships with two artists. The first is Kristen Schiele, who works in a variety of mediums (including painting, installation, and collage), and who derives inspiration from stage sets, cinema, folklore, allegory, kitsch, and different types of storytelling.

The second internship was with Debra Hampton, who also works across a variety of mediums, and makes art that includes sculptures and incredibly intricate collages that incorporate photographs, ink splatters, and found images mined from a variety of print and electronic media.

Alejandra Torres – the Studio Museum in Harlem
Before she graduated last May, Alejandra completed an internship in the administrative offices at the Studio Museum in Harlem, a contemporary art museum founded in 1968 that specializes in exhibiting 19th and 20th century art and the work of artists of African descent. I wrote about Alejandra’s internship while it will still under way; you can read about it here.

In a week or two, I’ll put up the first post describing one of these internships in more detail. As time passes, I hope to be able to cover most or all of the students on the list, with others to be added as new internships arise.

Visual & Critical Studies