By Mollie Leffin, BA Studio Art – Organizational Communications Minor
My journey as the Foster Gallery Intern began when I was approached by Jill Olm while working on my ceramics final second semester of my junior year. I was stressed, covered in glaze, and terrified that I was going to be approached about my plans for senior year. I was nervous, at first, to take on something new, just as I was nearing the end of my college education.
I soon discovered that being the Foster Gallery intern wasn’t just about exhibition installation and demolition. This internship gave me real life experiences in fields I’m passionate about — art and communication. I was able to work first-hand with artwork spanning generations of UW-Eau Claire alumni. I’ve seen German Expressionist prints and paintings by artists like Kandinsky and Heckel, artwork created by my professors, and artwork created by fellow peers, classmates, and friends. I’m glad a thousand times over that I worked up the courage to say ‘yes’. Working for Jill the past two semesters has helped me develop a better understanding of what I want to do with my life, and what I want to work towards after graduation.
I learned more about how to properly hang art, promote exhibitions, and how much preparation it takes to make an exhibition’s opening run smoothly. I gained valuable knowledge, beyond the pages of a text, of the importance of hard work and commitment to something you’re interested in. I learned that sometimes college can be difficult and messy, but in the end every dollar spent was a lesson that prepared me for what lays beyond commencement. From this experience I was fortunate enough to gain a network of individuals whose passion parallels that of my own for the Art and Design program here at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. It’s a group of staff, faulty, students, community members, and artists that anyone would be lucky to be a part of.