The Hickory Museum of Art was created in 1944 to provide a variety of quality visual arts offerings to the people of Hickory and the surrounding area. Internships at the Museum, under the supervision of museum professionals, can provide college students and those who have recently graduated with service experience in a number of museum areas.
Internships are traditionally not paid, as is the case with the Hickory Museum of Art’s internships. However, internships do provide academic credits, experience in a chosen field, “real life” experience, significant qualifications to list on a resume, and professional recommendations among other benefits.
In most cases, HMA internships offer a part-time, flexible schedule with a weekly commitment of from 10 to 20 hours.
To apply for one or more of the internship below, please send these to the appropriate HMA staff member listed with the internship of your choice:
- a resume (including your education and professional experience)
- the name and contact information of a professor in the internship field you have selected and who knows your work, and
- a formal letter of request explaining why you want to serve as a HMA intern and why you feel you should be selected for the particular internship.
Executive Assistant Internship
This internship is focused on working with the Museum’s executive director to provide service in a variety of ways, mainly involving assisting in fund-raising strategies and practices through writing parts of grant proposals and letters of application, and searching for potential funding sources. In addition to on-going assistant assignments, the intern will also be assigned at least one special project.
Projects may include fund-raising, grants writing, research, as well as communications with Board of Trustees members and community leaders.
Supervision: Executive Director Lisë Swensson.
Qualifications: Excellent writing, research, communications, and problem-solving skills are required. Must be motivated, dependability, have computer skills. A sense of humor is essential. Public speaking abilities will be helpful.
This internship is focused on documenting the Museum’s collections in the Museum’s collections management software Re:Discovery (www.rediscov.com/). This software provides many areas in which an intern can work on a project-by-project basis.
The significance of the creation and maintenance of an accurate record of what the Museum owns cannot be over-stated, both in the immediate (primarily for insurance purposes) and long-term (to assure a vibrant and cohesive collection into the future).
Supervision: Registrar Lauren Gallion.
Qualifications: Excellent computer experience as well as the ability to follow a specific set of instructions, resulting in a flawless transcription of written files into computer data.
The Museum provides a broad range of art-related instruction to students throughout the county as well as for adults in the community. The intern will work with the Museum’s Education Staff on projects and tasks such as:
- design and develop brochures and flyers for education classes, events, and programs;
- inventory and organize traveling education materials (trunks);
- create and oversee computer inventory files of classroom supplies and materials;
- design and update education evaluation, class confirmation, and instructor contact files, and oversee dissemination of necessary information to education participants;
- assist with class tours at the Museum;
- assist with the annual Paul Whitener Student Art Show; and
- develop Family Gallery Guides to be used in conjunction with HMA shows.
Supervision: Youth Educator Ginny Zellmer or the High School and Adult Educator
Qualifications required: Experience and/or interest in object based learning, as well as familiarity with writing curriculum (National Standards and the North Carolina Standard Course of Study). Must be willing to take initiative and work independently to the successful completion of projects.
Qualifications preferred: Some Education coursework.
Marketing / Community Relations Assistant
From print materials and press releases to community committees and informational seminars, there are many inventive ways to drum up public awareness for the Museum exhibitions and events. The Marketing/Community Relations Assistant intern will have the opportunity to be creatively involved with the implementation of project promotions from start to finish, learning about marketing strategies of non-profit organizations in the process.
Supervision: Communications Manager Kristina Anthony.
Qualifications required: Project management skills; coursework in marketing theory and practice; knowledge of basic Microsoft office programs; excellent spoken and written communication and teamwork skills.
Qualifications preferred: Photography skills and copywriting ability would be helpful.
Curatorial work includes the researching of artworks, artists, their backgrounds and other relevant information to provide insight for descriptive labels and for the direction of an entire show.
Supervision: This intern will work under the supervision of the Museum’s Executive Director, Lisë Swensson, and in collaboration with the Exhibitions Manager, Kristina Anthony, and Education staff and/or Registrar.
Qualifications required: Strong written and oral communication skills, as well as a collaborative spirit.
Qualifications preferred: Currently pursuing a degree in Art History.
Exhibitions Assistant (in-house)
This internship will be involved in preparing exhibitions that will focus on works within the Museum’s permanent collection, including providing insight into each exhibit’s design, works chosen and research needed. This is similar to the curatorial intern position, although less emphasis is placed on written skills as the needed written interpretation and curatorial direction will be provided. This internship is on a per-exhibition base and allows more flexibility for the individual with limited time to work on an exhibition.
Supervision: Exhibitions Manager, Kristina Anthony; Registrar, Lauren Gallion, and Museum Director, Lisë Swensson, and in some cases, Education Staff.
Qualifications preferred: Training in art handling is preferred.
(exhibits coming from elsewhere)
Traveling Exhibitions at the Hickory Museum of Art showcase works that are not part of the permanent collection. The intern will be involved in all aspects of traveling exhibits, including:
- the working relationships with other lending institutions, galleries and artists;
- transportation issues for the artworks;
- meeting specific timelines;
- managing time and handling last minute situations with ease;
- providing assistance in un-packing artwork;
- preparing artwork condition reports;
- inventorying, and
- gallery hanging assistance.
Supervision: This intern will work under the supervision of Kristina Anthony, Exhibitions Manager, in collaboration with Registrar, Lauren Gallion, and at times, with the guest curator.
Qualifications required: Excellent communication skills, the ability to work with a broad rage of people, and strong documentation skills.
Qualifications preferred: Training in art handling is preferred.
Gallery Management /
This involves the hands-on day-to-day operations of maintaining the galleries. Taking humidity and temperature readings, logging this information into a database, and providing assistance to the Exhibits Designer are a few of the specifics. Other possible tasks include addressing space and traffic flow of galleries as well as adaptations needed for private parties and groups and identifying hazards. This intern may work independently as needed on specific projects leading up to an exhibition, including painting or patching walls, assisting with the layout and spatial needs of the show, and providing hanging assistance to the Exhibits Designer.
Training in art handling will be given to the intern as well as proper museum procedures in moving art and objects.
Supervision: This intern will work under the supervision of Kristina Anthony, Exhibitions Manager and in collaboration with Lauren Gallion, Registrar.
Qualifications required: Excellent communication and documentation skills . Ability to lift objects, climb ladders, assist in transporting artwork within the museum, etc. along with exceptional dexterity.
Qualifications preferred: Some experience in art handling.
Photography / Archives and Photographing of Objects
This is an internship for someone interested in photography at all levels and in applying their skills to various photographic tasks within the museum. For instance, the intern may be asked to take digital photographs of galleries, exhibitions, gallery talks as well as museum functions. Another aspect of the position is the photographing of objects in the museum’s collection for records keeping and collections management purposes.
The intern will be trained by Museum staff in art handling, in 2-D and 3-D lighting and photography, and in transferring digital files into the collections management database.
Qualifications required: Above average skills with a camera. Able to work outside of the museum’s hours and during events on the weekends as needed.
Permanent Collections Inventory
This can be a project-based internship in which specific areas of the collection will be inventoried, or it can be an on-going task. Maintaining proper records, identifying storage issues, tracking artwork in the art vault and on display within the museum, as well as loans outside of the museum are vital to the Museum’s record keeping. Recording and tracking locations of art in the collection and entering data into the collections management database will be a large part of this project.
Supervision: This intern will work under the supervision of Lauren Gallion, Registrar.
Qualifications required: Knowledge of basic computer technology and ability to pay attention to details.
Qualifications preferred: Data entry experience.
Retail Shop Sales
This intern will work in the Museum’s retail store, the Galleria, as a sales associate. Responsibilities will include activities such as: greet visitors and keep attendance records; serve customers; create merchandise presentations; work on consignment accounts with artists, and develop relationships with new artists interested in consigning work to the HMA Galleria.
Supervision: Shop Manager/ Buyer, Ronni Smith.
Qualifications required: Ability to work with and help the public and interest in art made by artists and artisans in our community.
Qualifications preferred: One of the following or related majors: Art Management, Business Management, Creative/ Retail Merchandising, or Studio Arts.
The Graphics Intern will apply creativity to various print projects, including assisting with the design of eye-catching posters, newspaper advertisements, handbills, banners, and bookmarks that attract and inspire visitors to the Museum. The ideal candidate will be comfortable meeting production schedules, archiving digital work, and creating clean layouts that communicate clearly.
Supervision: This intern will work under the supervision of Kristina Anthony, Communications and Exhibitions Manager.
Qualifications required: Project management skills; coursework in design theory and practice; some knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite and Dreamweaver; professional, responsible demeanor; excellent communication and team work skills.
Must provide portfolio containing representative examples of work.
Qualifications preferred: Illustration and/or photography skills; copywriting ability; passion for Art of all kinds, particularly 19th – 20th Century American Art; knowledge of HTML and/or creating animated display.