An accidental declaration

I accidentally declared a double major in Studio Art and Art History during my freshman year, but my mistake in filling out the declaration of major form ended up being a very good one! Being a double major helped me be constantly considering an artwork from various perspectives. I became very interested in studying the formal qualities of interactive artworks as well as creating them and experimenting with audience involvement. I wrote my thesis on interactive and participatory artworks as a tool to reflect communities.

Three internships – starting at Hallie Ford Museum of Art

I was fortunate to have three internship opportunities during school. I was a collections intern at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art where I gained skills in art handling and organization, and got to better understand all the people and tasks required to run a small art museum. It was exciting to put the skills I learned there to use when planning and setting up my Studio Art thesis show with my peers!

Interning at Zena Zezza

I was also a Curatorial and Research Intern at Zena Zezza, a non-profit contemporary art project in Portland that supports and presents the work of artists along with different events that broaden thinking and discussion of themes present in the artwork. I worked on planning a yearlong retrospective program of Chantal Akerman’s films. This internship was a great introduction to the process of putting together an exhibition from start to finish, including grant proposals, research, venue searching, collaborating with other organizations, reaching out to potential guest speakers, and publicizing the screenings. I have continued to work for Zena Zezza as a social media assistant for more than a year now.

100th Monkey Studio Internship

Additionally, I was an intern at an art therapy studio in Portland called the 100th Monkey Studio. I helped facilitate art-making in various groups including adults with disabilities and teens, and during open studio sessions. I also taught classes on various fine art techniques to kids and adults. This experience helped me understand the potential that making art has for strengthening communities and self-reflection.

Intersecting art and community

These three internships, my experience doing a double major in Studio Art and Art History (which is a very manageable combination!), and the incredible faculty in both departments all contributed to my academic focus and my future career interests. I am interested in creating more immersive creative experiences to bring together artists and the public within an organization that is focused on the intersection of art and community. I feel very lucky to have had these opportunities, and to have met such great people at Willamette who supported and challenged me!

December 2017

Ellery Seither

Ellery Seither

Willamette University

Art History

Ford Hall
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.
503-370-6977 fax

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