1. Tell us a little more about the Firstdraft internship – what do you do in this position? What does an ‘average day’ look like?
The day of an FD intern is pretty “un-average”. It will definitely involve daily opening procedures to get the current exhibitions ready for the public. That might involve anything from turning ceiling power points on with a broom stick handle to lighting incense to refilling a carafe with green smoothie. From there I might be putting together content for the volunteer newsletter or doing a stock take of gallery install equipment or picking up FD print editions from the framer. Tesha keeps me busy! And if you have been to an FD opening night I likely served you your beverage of choice alongside my trusty bar mate Dom.
One of the highlights has been assisting with the Firstdraft Auction. There was lots of administrative work that went into the lead-up, the night itself and the resolution, which gave me a great insight into a more commercial gallery experience.
2. You’ve been a volunteer at Firstdraft for a while, what made you want to deepen your engagement with the gallery?
I get a lot out of volunteering at Firstdraft. As a space that supports and exhibits the diverse and exciting experimental practices of emerging local artists (hopefully one day soon that will be me!) I have a lot of time for it and so it seemed like a natural progression to start interning.
3. How do you find Firstdraft as a place to work – is it different from other galleries and arts organisations you’ve worked with in the past?
It is a very social and flexible environment to work in. There is a strong sense of community which I think starts with Tesha, the general manager, and the team of directors who make it all happen behind the scenes. I haven’t worked with other arts organisations to the extent that I have worked with Firstdraft so I can’t compare but I think it is a pretty fantastic place to work.
4. How has the internship helped to shape your professional skills; as an artist and as an administrator?
The internship has allowed me to connect with the local arts community in a way that I definitely wouldn’t have even conceived of without taking that first step to volunteer. I get to talk to the exhibiting artists, I get to spend time with the exhibitions themselves and I get a look in on the responses of the visiting public – what my contemporaries are thinking about and how they are thinking about it. This is hugely heartening and inspiring as an artist and as an arts administrator!
5. You’re coming to the end of your internship – what’s next for you? Will we see you in the Exhibition Program one day?
Definitely! I’m off to the US on a study trip in not too long. I am ridiculously excited to see the rock formations of Utah… Did I mention clay is my medium of choice? MoMA and the Brooklyn Museum are also high on my list of places to go. (Further suggestions welcome!) But I’ll be back serving you an ice cold Mountain Goat at an FD opening night soon!