Part of the success of the William Wegman: Hello Nature show this summer has been due to the three student interns at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art who offer twice-daily tours to visitors.
“People are delighted to hear from Bowdoin students,” Joachim Homann, the museum’s curator, said. “Both to meet them and learn how the Museum fits in with the mission of Bowdoin. They are great ambassadors of the College and the Museum.”
The three educational assistant interns this summer are Hugo Barajas ’12, Abbie Geringer ’14 and Becky Rosen ’13. All are majoring in visual arts; Rosen and Geringer are also studying art history. Barajas is a Spanish double major.
To prepare as Wegman tour guides, the three did intensive research into William Wegman’s art and the ideas behind it, and spent time looking at and interpreting the pieces in the show. Each has come up with a unique tour, letting his or her tastes and preferences color their talk. “We all do it differently,” Rosen said. “We’ve gotten time to develop a narrative and understanding of the art.”
This summer, the interns also helped Homann curate the current watercolor show, “Winslow Homer to Eva hesse: Watercolors from the Bowdoin Collection,” which runs to the end of August.
Homann had the interns scour the archives to find the museum’s best, most beautiful watercolors. “Joachim’s objective was to show the highlights of Bowdoin’s collection, the ones that make you stop with ‘ahhhs’. We want people to be wowed,” Geringer said.
Barajas said the chance to go into the museum’s storage and see up close so many original works was one of his favorite parts of the internship. “It’s a very unique experience that unfortunately few at Bowdoin have,” he said.
The interns selected pieces that appealed to them personally, and not just the big-name artists – like Homer, Hesse and John La Farge, who are all in the watercolor show. They also wrote wall texts for their top three artworks, designed the graphic elements for the exhibition, helped choose the wall colors, and gave their input into the show layout, according to Homann.
The summer internship also included visits to local artists’ studios. “A huge component to this job is the opportunity to meet all these people,” Geringer said. “I’ve gained a lot of knowledge about how the art world works and the personalities in the art world.”
Rosen and Geringer both aspire to work in art museums. Barajas, who said his art interests include drawing, sculpture and performance art, admitted he’s less sure. “I may not want to work in a museum, but as an artist, I hope to one day join the ranks of others and have my work shown in a museum,” he said, with a smile.