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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

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Grinnellians work summer art internships

Contributed Phinn Lloyd ’21, an art history major, spent his summer applying his skills to a screen printing internship at BRT Print Shop in New York. Contributed photo.

By Anneliese Stattelman

This summer, many Grinnellians left town for internships in the arts, often in bigger places. Phinn Lloyd ‘21, Veronica Thomas ‘21, and Madison Smith ’20 each spent their summers interacting with the art world through screen printing, film, and theatre, respectively.

Phinn Lloyd was looking for an internship in a big city, and the BRT Print Shop in Brooklyn, New York was looking for an intern.

After applying through GrinnellLink, Lloyd landed the job assisting in art fabrication through the method of screen printing.

In this position he got a chance to collaborate on projects with local artists in the Brooklyn area.

After growing up in the Midwest, New York came as a challenging but welcome change. While his day always started with a consistent hour-long subway commute, his tasks at the shop changed daily due to the large volume of artists and their different needs.

At BRT, Lloyd discovered the style of work environment that best suited him.

“I used to want to work in a museum, but the more I’ve been behind the scenes in museums, the less comfortable I feel in those spaces. When you’re actually making art with the artists, it feels so much more alive.” Lloyd said.

Lloyd is looking towards working with modern art in the future and actively being a part of the dialogue of the art world. Being an art history major, his experience at the print shop has given Lloyd a chance to be part of the present.

“I really fell in love with the conversations that happen as the artist is creating their work. They wouldn’t always come to us with a complete vision. Often they’d be like, ‘Oh, we can’t do that, but we can do this.’ It was always a process which was so exciting to be in.”

While spending her spring break working on a film externship in China, Veronica Thomas connected with an alum who offered her an internship at the Northwest Film Forum.

Originally, Thomas helped with the Children’s Film Festival Seattle, sorting through submissions from over 50 countries to discern which pieces were most relevant to today’s youth.

Through thematic planning, Thomas considered what was “politically and socially relevant in the world,” and dealt with the question of “How can we start conversations through films for children?”

For Thomas, who usually works in the content and production side of film, this was a change. After making it clear that she was interested in youth education, and after an educational instructor dropped last minute, Thomas began teaching classes on influencer culture and animation to teenagers.

“They took a risk on me and it was a cool opportunity to create a curriculum because I haven’t had to do that before. It was a mixture of luck and putting myself out there,” Thomas said.

As she continues to pursue film, Thomas is interested in the future and evolution of the medium.

After a college career of working in theater, Madison Smith knew she was ready to take a big step up. She applied to be the material coordinator intern at the Muny in St. Louis, and got the job.

“Almost every department that wasn’t costume or wig, I worked with,” said Smith.

She would show up at 7:30AM and ask each department what they needed for the day. Sometimes the job was going to Home Depot and buying nuts and bolts, and sometimes it was finding a mechanical bull or a purple spiral slide.

The Muny puts on seven shows from the beginning of June to the end of August, giving Smith limited time to complete her tasks.

“I learned a ton about how regional theatre works, how much teamwork you need, how much knowledge of each department you need, and how much marketing and budgeting matters,” Smith said.

It wasn’t until the second half of the summer that Smith ‘20 discovered that she could get involved with the company outside of her job description. She started going to rehearsals, talking to the artistic director, and sitting in on bigger meetings.

“Everyone knew who I was at that point, and that I was more than just a shopper-buyer. I started to really dig in there and put myself in those conversations that I want to be in in the future.”

Phinn Lloyd ’21, an art history major, spent his summer applying his skills to a screen printing internship at BRT Print Shop in New York. Contributed photo.
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