Marcus Zuniga was an intern in SITE’s External Affairs/Digital Media Department from September – December 2014. These are his final reflections on his experience at SITE upon completing his internship.
I first learned about SITE Santa Fe during my time as an undergraduate student at the University of New Mexico. Being born and raised in the state of New Mexico, and also an advocate and student of the contemporary arts, SITE quickly became an important site for my ambitions as a New Mexican artist. I knew I wanted to somehow be involved in a museum like SITE, for SITE is the only museum in all of New Mexico that is completely dedicated to contemporary art. After graduating from UNM with my BFA in the fall of 2013, I had no idea where to go next. I put my faith in the idea that my future was in fine art and the best way to neuter that idea was to take refuge in museums.
After a few internships in Santa Fe and Tucson, AZ, and a submitted application to be a SITE intern, I received the call, was interviewed, and selected to be the Digital Media intern working in the External Affairs department under Anne Wrinkle.
Being at SITE during the fall of 2014 was one of the best times to be a part of this museum. The first in a new series of Biennials had been unveiled that July. The museum was doing what it does best in its day to day operation with visitors travelling through the exhibitions and discovering all that Unsettled Landscapes had to offer.
Working behind the scenes at SITE, I worked on several projects that have demonstrated how important the museum’s virtual public image is. The largest project I worked on was a website exhibition archiving project. In preparation for SITE 20th anniversary, we wanted to make sure that SITE’s website had content for each exhibition’s webpage. Another project, I worked on was creating a video that documented the press clippings SITE had received since beginning their partnership with a New York based PR firm. We wanted to make something to show our gratitude for all their hard work. It was an exciting project for me to share my animation and video editing skills, and also work in close collaboration with SITE’s Phillips Director and Chief Curator, Irene Hofmann.
My time as a SITE intern wasn’t dedicated to just working on projects. SITE does a great job of giving their interns a complete and very educational experience working in a museum by having frequent discussions and involving them in major museum events. In the fall of 2014, I had the chance to take part in SITE’s annual community SPREAD event. This event was a great chance to experience the local contemporary arts network that supports SITE and artists alike in Santa Fe. We also had the opportunity to have weekly group meetings with different members of SITE’s staff from every department. In these meetings we would discuss how to build a career as an artist or in museums.
At SITE, interns are treated like truly valued members of the museum’s operation. When you’re dedicating time to a cause that you believe in, it’s nice to see that they believe in and support you in return. Because of my time at SITE, I have a much clearer picture of what my career in the arts can and will be. I am currently working at a newly established contemporary art gallery in Santa Fe learning about a different approach to supporting art and artists. The more I learn about this historical region of art, which I now call home, the more I am inspired and determined to continue my art practice with the pursuit that I can one day be worthy of being involved with SITE Santa Fe again.