Art History student Jessie Kradel interns at NCMA

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In Spring 2021, Art History major Jessie Kradel completed a successful remote internship with the North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA). Jessie also works on campus as a Resident Assistant in Bowie Residence Hall, and found exciting and sometimes unexpected ways to connect the activities of her internship with the programming expectations of her RA position.

Many visitors to museums spend, at most, a few minutes looking at individual works of art. As part of her internship, in March 2021 Jessie hosted a well-attended Slow Art Appreciation Mindfulness Event over Zoom, in which she invited participants to engage with Claude Monet's The Cliff, Étretat, Sunset(1882-1883), a painting in the NCMA collection, over a much longer duration of time. As Jessie explains, “This event was a collaboration between the NCMA, University Housing, and Wellness and Prevention Services, as a part of Rejuvenation Week and Semicolon Week events. I was amazed at the level of engagement among our attendees; it seems like they thoroughly enjoyed taking that hour to be fully present and think deeply about a specific piece of art. I loved being a part of a program which promoted mindfulness, discussion, and the arts.”

Jessie continues work on two initiatives, both of which are excellent professional development opportunities for her as well as other students on campus who are interested in careers in the arts. The first of these, a North Carolina Artists Panel, will include panel discussions by four North Carolina-based artists: Jason Craighead, Luke Miller Buchanan, Mar Hester, and Cali Stuckey. As Jessie notes, “We will be discussing their art and practices, as well as what it means to be a North Carolina artist to these individuals. I am very excited to hear their perspectives and to offer aspiring artists an opportunity to ask them questions.” The panel will be conducted over Zoom on May 12, 2021, at 7 pm.

The second of these, the Staff Spotlight Video Series, is a series of video interviews with employees in different positions at NCMA. Jessie explains, “My fellow intern, Corinne Gregson, and I, are working on an interview video series highlighting staff members with diverse job titles at the NCMA. We hope to give the interviewees a chance to talk about their work in the museum, and also to raise awareness about how many people it takes to ensure a museum runs smoothly as well as just how many paths and opportunities there are for those who wish to work in a similar institution.” The interviews will be professionally edited and posted to Youtube when complete.

Through her internship and her continued engagement with NCMA, Jessie was able to explore multiple career options for art history majors, learn the inner workings of a large museum, and make key professional contacts.