This summer, I’ve had the pleasure of interning at the New York Artists Equity Association (NYAE) and its art space, Equity Gallery. NYAE was founded in 1947 by artists to promote opportunities for New York artists. Our community has since grown and have encompassed artists such as Thomas Hart Benton, Willem de Kooning, Frank Stella, Sol Lewitt, Paul Strand, Alex Katz, Alice Neel, Louise Nevelson. With such a historied line, it comes at no surprise how excited (and nervous) I was to help continue on the tradition of artists helping artists.
I’ve tried my hand at a whole myriad of tasks, from installing and deinstalling shows, creating content for the non profit’s website, increasing social media efforts, editing press releases, and helping a show come to life from its very start as an idea to a fruitful opening. I’ve seen 3 shows up at the gallery, one of which, PLACE: Monumental Drawings included the artist Dawn Clements and her Upstairs at the McIvers’ (The Cobweb, 1955). This beautiful composite interior watercolor spans the bedrooms of the McIvers from The Cobweb. Up close, you can see her notation of the timestamp and other various details she picked up throughout the film.
Clements has lectured for Princeton’s Program in Visual Arts and was a guest printmaker. Two of her works can be found in the Princeton University Art Museum collection: Untitled, 2006. Lithograph on off-white wove paper; Untitled, 2006. Hard ground etching on off-white wove paper.
Despite becoming the jill-of-all-art-related-trades during my internship, my favorite part thus far has been interviewing artists, curators, and other members of the art world and Artists Equity community. I’ve been lucky to have illuminating conversations and studio visits with many wonderful people. However, I’ve since realized that the New York art world is small, and for some reason it comes back full circle to Princeton yet again (I’ve had so many instances this summer). One of my interviewees, Meghan Keane, just had digital prints of her paintings put up in Lakeside Housing! Meghan had a show at Equity Gallery in March that showcased these paintings. They are part of a series that she completed while visiting Colombia’s Fundación Colombia Nuevos Horizontes (FCNH). Because of the housing crisis due to violence and monetary issues, many people find temporary situations at FCNH. Meghan set out to paint 12 portraits of people she met at FCNH, and it turned into a beautifully meditative and humanizing project for both her subjects and Meghan. She recently gave a talk at the NYPL on her monograph for the show, Displacement, Desplazamiento (of which I am a proud owner of a copy) . There, I met Sebastián Ramírez Hernández, who is a PhD candidate for Anthropology at Princeton and also wrote a discerning essay on FCNH and Meghan’s impact through her paintings. You can read my full interview of Meghan here and read more of what she has to say about the project and her past and future endeavors and interest in painting.
As I only have 2 weeks left at Artists Equity, I’ve been trying to make the most out of every moment. My supervisor and I have had “Field trip Fridays” each week during which we get out of our gallery and visit other galleries, museums, and performance places. I’ve seen some incredible art and learned so much about how to be a player (or at least the #1 fan) in the art world and community. And I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how often it seems that all roads lead to Nassau Hall.