Each September, the DMA welcomes a new class of McDermott Interns, thanks to the generous support of the Eugene McDermott Education Fund. During their brief nine months at the Museum, the McDermott Interns contribute to numerous projects, from exhibitions to tours to programming and beyond. Their hard work helps make the Museum the dynamic place we know and love!
But what happens after the internship is complete? For some, the stars align and we are able to welcome them into full-time positions here at the Museum. In fact, we have nine previous McDermott Interns, myself included, currently on staff. Others move on to different adventures across the country. I checked in with some of our recent McDermott graduates to see where life has led them.
McDermott Graduate Curatorial Intern for European and American Art, 2010-2011
My post-McDermott career so far has taken me both east and west. From June 2011 to June 2013, I served as curatorial fellow at the Shelburne Museum in Vermont, a wonderfully eclectic museum with holdings that include American folk art, impressionist paintings, and a landlocked steamboat. When I wasn’t working on exhibits, I experimented with printmaking at a community studio, an interest that developed out of a works on paper exhibit I curated at the DMA. In July 2013, I relocated to Roswell, New Mexico, where I am now the curator of collections and exhibitions at the Roswell Museum and Art Center. Though I’ve only been here a few weeks, I’m happy to be back out west, and am looking forward to the challenges and opportunities of my new position.
After leaving the DMA, I worked as the project assistant at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art on the traveling exhibition Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World’s Fairs 1851-1939, co-organized with the Carnegie Museum of Art. In August 2012, I began a graduate program at Indiana University, Bloomington, and am looking forward to completing my MA in art history next spring. I also currently serve as a graduate assistant at the Indiana University Art Museum.
McDermott Education Intern for Teaching Programs, 2009-2010
From 2010 to 2011, I held a position at the DMA as assistant to the director of education, which also allowed me to help with activities for the 2010 McDermott Intern class. In July 2011, I moved to Missouri to study sculpture at the Kansas City Art Institute. I’m currently pursuing a studio practice as a visual artist there and am planning to apply for MFA programs soon. I met Stefanie at the DMA during her McDermott Internship and in October 2012 I asked her to marry me. She accepted and we are currently planning our wedding!
I have been really busy in my position as curator of collections and exhibitions at the Museum of the Southwest in Midland, where I have been since May 2012. It’s great working at a multidisciplinary institution that combines an art museum, children’s museum, planetarium, and historic home into one. I am the entire curatorial department, so I get to do a little bit of everything, including picking up artwork from different states, designing exhibitions, creating interpretive activities, giving gallery talks, and writing grants. We are installing or deinstalling exhibitions almost every month. In the past, I only worked with the art of long-dead civilizations, but now I get to work with lots of exciting contemporary artists—a fun new challenge.
In July 2013, I moved back to Philadelphia and started my new job as the administrative and publicity coordinator at The Fabric Workshop and Museum. I am now creating the content for FWM’s social media (Facebook: /fabricworkshop, and Twitter: @fabricworkshop), and I work on publicity and community outreach initiatives. Additionally, my duties at FWM include helping with exhibition budgets, publications, and checklists, coordinating museum openings and events, and maintaining travel arrangements. Being a McDermott Intern definitely helped prepare me for this job. I’m really enjoying myself here, but I sure do miss Dallas and the DMA!
Our newest class of McDermott Interns began last week. During your next visit to the DMA, keep an eye out for Alexa Hayes, Amelia Wood, Amy Elms, Amy Kaczmarek, Hayley Prihoda, Madeleine Fitzgerald, Michael Hartman, and Temple Shipley. We get the pleasure of working with them for the next several months, and we can’t wait to see where they’ll go from here!
P.S. If you’re interested in becoming a McDermott Intern next year, check our website in January 2014 for the application!
Sarah Coffey is the assistant to the chair of learning initiatives and former McDermott Education Intern for Adult Programming at the DMA.