Meet Our Fall Interns: Emily, Gabrielle

Meet our fall interns! Application are now open for spring 2022 paid internships.

Meet Chloe, Jane, James

Emily Meyer, George Mason University

“My name is Emily Meyers (she/her). I moved to Virginia one year ago from New York to complete my Master’s at George Mason University. I am a European History Major with a focus on Digital History. For this Digital Experience internship, I brought what I learned in the classroom to The Phillips Collection as I helped with Digital Accessibility. My work started with adjusting captions for my fellow Deaf Community. Then I branched out to readability of the site so that it was not too hard to read. Finally, I did some HTML coding to better design the website. I wanted to bring a different perspective to the table and learn how to meld the digital and physical spaces of museums. I want to work in museums and give people the best experience possible, whether that is in a digital or physical space!”

Gabrielle Walker, George Mason University

“My name is Gabrielle Walker and I’m a junior studying Art History and Spanish at George Mason University. I was drawn to this museum’s internship program because of the close mentorship component, creative agency over projects, and immersion into the museum’s workspaces. During my time at The Phillips Collection, I worked with the Community Engagement department. I assisted with the community events, creative planning, and prep of  the department’s Wellness Kits. These kits provide interesting art activities with the Phillips@THEARC community and are often accompanied by workshops. For my individual project, I planned the Wellness Kit and workshop for December where participants create their own quilt designs inspired by Gee’s Bend quilts. During my internship, I have been able to engage with community members and coworkers to learn the implications of art expression and art history in outreach.”

Meet Our Fall Interns: Chloe, Jane, James

Meet our fall interns! Application are now open for spring 2022 paid internships.

Meet Emily and Gabrielle

Chloe Akazawa, Georgetown University

“My name is Chloe Akazawa and I am currently a graduate student in the Art and Museum Studies Masters program at Georgetown University. I recently graduated from UC Berkeley, where I majored in Art History and French and minored in Digital Humanities. In my free time, I love to embroider, paint my nails, and drink chai lattes. I love both looking at art and creating art, and I admire The Phillips Collection’s continued dedication to including and engaging diverse communities of artists and visitors. I am helping the Marketing and Communications department grow the museum’s audiences, initiating new relationships with local cultural centers, businesses, and organizations. I have encountered the many facets of what Marketing entails, from press releases, graphic design, to social media posts. Through this internship, I have learned about the different ways that art can extend beyond the gallery space into daily life.”

Jane Asher, American University

“My name is Jane Asher (she/her) and I attend American University as an interdisciplinary major and a combined master’s student. This semester I have been working with the Director’s Office with Caitlin Hoerr. I came into this internship hoping to understand more about how private art institutions function in DC (since DC is dominated by public institutions) and, more specifically, how the decisions made in the director’s office impact the entire institution. Over the course of this internship, I have been able to learn more about the function of the Board of Trustees as well as the Office of the Director. I have been able to understand The Phillips Collection’s history better and how the Board fits into that history. I have enjoyed working at the Phillips in its centennial year and look forward to seeing it evolve and expand with the changes to come.”

James Bleeker, George Washington University

“My name is James Bleecker, and I will be attending George Washington University’s Museum Studies program in January 2022. I graduated from Skidmore College with a BA in History, having written my thesis about the politics of museums and Holocaust memory in Hungary. I moved to the DC area in August to pursue a career in museum work, and I currently intern at the National Museum of the US Navy. Through my internship in the Phillips’s Security Department (which includes Museum Assistants who are in many ways the public face of the museum), I learned how the contents of a museum can impact the lives of those who work to protect it. I also observed the administrative efforts behind making a museum safe and accessible during covid-19. My primary tasks have been to rewrite the manuals for Museum Assistants and Museum Supervisors. This meant spending time shadowing on the floor, asking questions, learning the daily operations of the department, and taking creative license to understand and convey the essence of these positions in writing.”

Fellow Spotlight: Shiloah Symone Coley

Meet our 2021-22 Sherman Fairchild Fellows. As part of our institutional values and commitment to diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion, the Sherman Fairchild Fellowship is a comprehensive, yearlong paid program that includes hands-on experience, mentoring, and professional development. 

Shiloah Symone Coley by Nithin Charlly

Why are you interested in working at a museum?

From the time I was a little girl, I didn’t feel represented or seen in art museums. This ended up shaping the trajectory of my learning and pursuit of an artistic practice. I’ve had the opportunity to work alongside children’s museums in the capacity of facilitating art programming and have done smaller projects with larger art institutions. However, I felt that I never truly learned the ins and outs of an art museum. I want to understand how and why they function in addition to how and why they change as their relationship to the audiences they serve has come into question over the past decade.

What brought you to The Phillips Collection?

As an artist, researcher, and writer, I continuously feel compelled to use narratives in all of their complexity as a point of departure for conveying the complications that lie amongst our perceptions of the self and others, which is further complicated by the plethora of identities and positionalities we hold at the individual, familial, and communal level.

How does an institution engage in the complexity of the narratives perpetuated by the work in addition to considering the different narratives of the publics they serve? I think the Phillips is enduring a period of transition as it grapples with its past, present, and future as an institution. When I applied for the fellowship, I was particularly interested in the Community Exhibitions occurring through the work of the Community Engagement and Education departments with different communities in D.C. The particular work of attempting to expand the reach of a museum to not only be inclusive but responsible and accountable to the communities of DC motivated me to pursue a position here.

Please tell us about your work at the Phillips over the summer, and the projects that you will be working on during your fellowship. What do you hope to accomplish during your fellowship?

Over the summer, I focused on creating content for the Juried Invitational Inside Outside, Upside Down in celebration of the centennial. This meant connecting with the artists to create blog posts, social media content, and audio stops. Connecting with the artists has really offered me an opportunity to build my own community of artists working in and around DC, which was one of my biggest goals coming into the fellowship. As an MFA in Studio Art candidate at American University in my second year, I feel that I really missed out on community building during the first year of my program with covid restrictions in place, so it’s exciting to get to do studio visits with some of the artists working with the Phillips.

The focus of my fellowship is to bridge the Community Engagement and Marketing & Communications departments, while considering how we can be intentional about storytelling and engagement with our community. I hope to have a better understanding of museums as not only institutions but sites for civic engagement as I continue to work with artists and support programs at Phillips@THEARC.

What is your favorite painting/artist here?

Currently one of my favorite photographs in the collection is Man with Two Girls on Shoulders (East 100th Street Series) by Bruce Davidson.

If you were to describe the Phillips in one word, what would that word be?

Learning.

What is a fun fact about you?

I was a very mediocre competitive swimmer from age 5 to 15 years old.