Sydney Rayne is studying graphic design at Santa Fe University of Art and Design. She worked as an intern in SITE’s External Affairs Department during the spring of 2016. Below she reflects on her experience at SITE upon completing her internship.
The biggest part of my work here at SITE was compiling image lists for different exhibitions. I started my internship right before the opening of the final SITE 20/20 installment, so I created an image list for those artists and their works. After that, I followed the same format to create an image sheet for the next exhibition – workSHoP. In the last month of my internship I was back working with a much more extensive Image Sheet for the SITElines.2016 exhibition. Working with this document took a lot of work as far as formatting and continuously arranging, rearranging, and adding in new information as it was added to the server. When I started working on it we only had images and captions for about 7 artists, and I continued to build the image sheet up until it included all the artists.
This particular project provided an interesting look into how museums have a back and forth dialogue with their artists and the struggles they go through trying to figure out what sort of captions the artists want, how their photos can be cropped, when we are getting their works, or even just trying to get in touch with them. This turned out to be one of the most interesting parts of my internship- the times when I was learning more of the behind-the-scenes work that it takes to run a museum rather than just strictly doing design work.
This internship really has helped me with my design skill though, particularly with InDesign. I did a ton of work in the program with the image sheets, and also creating courtesy and press passes so I was able to learn how to better maneuver the program and how to be more efficient with it as I worked. I learned other skills that were completely new to me during my time here as well, such as how to scan slides and downsize images.
I also had the opportunity to work on a lot of smaller more miscellaneous tasks that taught me a lot more about the work Anne does as far as managing the press for SITE. I created press kits to send out to hotel concierges; I made a bibliography of international SITElines.2014 coverage to help Anne with a grant proposal, and I continually catalogued press clippings. It was interesting for me to see all the little things that can be done to enhance the publicity for the museum and learn how to work well in public relations.
I am pleased to say that my time as an intern at SITE has been different than I thought it would, but has taught me new valuable skills and really been a learning experience. I did not do as much strictly design work as I expected, but I had the opportunity to be a part of a wonderful museum and learn so many different facets of the work it takes to not only run an institute like SITE, but have it be one of the top contemporary art spaces in the country. Thank you all for the wonderful experiences.