“Miss Art”

February 4, 2010

I have a new title. I love titles, and I particularly like this one, since it’s a first for me and an important step in anyone’s college education. I am the brand new “stagiaire” or “intern” at a fantastic art gallery in the Marais!

I will be spending the semester working on a project or projects of my choosing in a beautiful contemporary art gallery in the 3rd arrondisement. I adore my boss, Dominique, and have pretty much lived there for the past two days! (I’m getting ready for day 3 tomorrow).  I helped with a vernissage or gallery opening on Tuesday, which was incredibly hectic! But in spite of everyone running behind and tripping over each other on the tiny staircase, the attitude was positive. Nobody got angry or snippy with anyone, and all were incredibly sweet and patient with me (especially because it was my first day!). I typed up tags for all the paintings and sculptures (artist, title, price); helped to set up the refreshment table; gave advice on which things should go where, and even named a sculpture! The best part was that after all the work was done I was able to enjoy myself! I mingled with the guests, looked at all the art presented, and spoke at length to several of the artists, which was lovely! We talked about art of course, but also traveling, wine, and music! I also made new friends-a young American au pair, and the French stagiaire who worked at the gallery before I did (as well as a friend of hers). Lauren, Suzanne, and Laura were all really friendly and insistent that I spend time with them soon!

Today was also great! The show yesterday was only for last night (so much work for so little time!) so today Dominique was taking down that exhibit and putting up another. I went on a 2 hour adventure with two lovely women (one of whom organized the show) to return the paintings to 2 different galleries in Paris. I couldn’t stop smiling! At one point I was perched precariously on the folded down backseat of the car, trying not to lean against a pile of artwork (worth oh, probably around 10,000 euros) as we careened through the most well-known streets of Paris and changing lanes to avoid the cops lest they spot me sitting illegally in the car. Both the artwork and I arrived without damage and it was SO much fun!!!!

In just two days my internship has opened up an entirely new world. There are beautiful colors and forms everywhere, and the art around me is constantly changing. I will likely be working on an English introduction to the gallery’s website and I will also hopefully be organizing the May show on contemporary Surrealist painters, all of whom I will be contacting (in French!!!). The people I have met so far have all been interesting, polite, and really welcoming. I love the eccentric people who come into the gallery, and I love the feeling that I just stumbled into something immensely enjoyable and rewarding.

I am already learning about how galleries run, my French is improving, and I am actually looking forward to going to “work” tomorrow. I know that no matter what I do with my life or what I choose to do in the field of art history this internship is going to help me. I know that my internship will get harder and the expectations of me will get higher, but I am prepared to rise to that challenge, and I think that Dominique is going to be a fabulous boss. She knows a lot and I can’t wait to learn from her!

Besides, how could I get bored? The office completely changes its decor once a month!!! A bientôt!

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2 Responses to ““Miss Art””

  1. grandma said

    Bravo Victoria! Grandpa and I read this with tremendous smiles on our faces and his buttons were bursting on his shirt. Your Mom said that she could see you doing this. Love, Grandma

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