Art Student's Summer Internship Reveals New Career Paths
Lucy Plowe's (B.F.A. '20) summer internship at International Print Center New York (IPCNY) actually began in the fall of 2017 on an art department field trip to New York City, led by associate professors Elisabeth Meyer and Gregory Page. IPCNY was among the various print fairs and shops the group visited during New York Print Week.
Plowe remembered that visit when she began researching internships for the following summer. "Because I'd been interested in printmaking during the school year, I thought it would be enlightening to see the other side of the print world through a summer internship at IPCNY," she says. Her application was accepted along with four other student interns from Notre Dame, Temple, Yale, and the University of Georgia.
Founded in 2000 and located in New York City's Chelsea gallery district, IPCNY is a nonprofit arts institution and exhibition space dedicated to the presentation of prints by emerging, established, national, and international artists. The administrative duties of Plowe's internship included assisting in creating layouts for event brochures, updating IPCNY's website, helping to set up events, and overseeing children's groups and their printmaking crafts.
But, she says, the IPCNY internship also emphasized working closely with the staff to expose the interns to the art world and to the practice of printmaking. Weekly tours and demos at other print shops, galleries, and studios in the city introduced her to topics that were new to her, including mezzotint and aspects of bookmaking. The experience also suggested how she could combine practice and career.
"I really love the idea of splitting my time between running a gallery or a nonprofit and working on my own artistic practice," she says. "Before my summer internship, I didn't even know that was something I could do."
After learning she had secured the internship, Page and AAP's printmaking specialist Julianne Hunter urged Plowe to submit her work to IPCNY's juried exhibition, Multilayered. It was exciting to have her drawing, Fear No Fate, accepted into the exhibition and to be working in the gallery during the show, which opened on June 26 and runs through September 22.
"From the back office I could see people come into the gallery and explore the work, eventually making it to mine," she says. "It was wonderful to talk to some of them and answer questions," she said.
Plowe says the internship will have a lasting impact. "It was really amazing to be immersed in the world that I'm trying to break into as an artist," she says. "The chance to communicate and learn from other artists who work in galleries and in print shops has exposed me to other paths I can take in my professional life."
An exhibition of Plowe's paintings and prints will be on display in Tjaden Hall's Experimental Gallery, September 16–22.
By Patti Witten