Angela Wilson shares her experience at Blue Star Contemporary at the Trinity University’s Summer Undergraduate Research Conference. Photo courtesy of Angela Wilson.
Angela Wilson shares her experience at Blue Star Contemporary at the Trinity University’s Summer Undergraduate Research Conference. Photo courtesy of Angela Wilson.

I was walking down the hallway of my Trinity University dorm when I fully realized the most rewarding lesson I had learned this summer. A quote by Albert Schweitzer on the bulletin board read, “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success.” I was able to experience this first-hand when I spent eight weeks interning at Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum, a high-profile contemporary art museum in the King William Cultural Arts District.

I was selected by the Arts, Letters, and Enterprise (ALE) program at Trinity to complete this internship and live on campus with students from all over the world, who also completed internships or did research in San Antonio.

One of the primary goals of the ALE program is to enable exemplary students from different cities to represent Trinity University, to congregate in San Antonio for the summer, and to get realistic exposure to the both the university’s and city’s impressive professional community.

My work as the public programs intern at Blue Star Contemporary had the overarching goal of educating the public about contemporary art.

I learned a great deal from my supervisor and Blue Star Contemporary’s Exhibitions Manager Jacqueline McGilvray, who motivated me to spread awareness about the importance of visual literacy. She explained that viewers fully experience the value of an artwork when they have developed skills in recognizing and translating artistic elements into an intended message.

Blue Star Contemporary aims to nurture a community that appreciates contemporary art. By being able to digest and interpret what artists have to say, the community gives means to the power behind artists and their work.

As a studio art major and ALE minor, I was able to implement my knowledge of studio art and my professional skills to create children’s lesson plans related to exhibits, organize meetings and partnerships for Blue Star Contemporary, and plan different ways to offer a contemporary art education to the San Antonio community. Accomplishing tasks that directly applied to my passion for contemporary art and promoting its accessibility led to a heightened level of motivation to succeed.

“Scattering Screen” by Alyson Shotz at the Blue Star Contemporary's "Art in the Garden" exhibit. Image courtesy of Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum.
“Scattering Screen” by Alyson Shotz at the Blue Star Contemporary’s “Art in the Garden” exhibit. Image courtesy of Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum.

In addition to doing what I love, I was surrounded by staff members who were truly invested in seeing the museum and its programs thrive.

Blue Star Contemporary was a warm environment that showed appreciation for interns. I highly recommend interning at this museum, because my responsibilities not only consisted of completing rewarding tasks but also of attending fun evening events such as the 2016 Art in the Garden summer opening and membership events. I also was given the opportunity to network with other professionals who are interested in contemporary art. Through this, I made valuable connections that have already opened new doors for my future.

My university advised me to keep a weekly reflection log throughout the internship, which allowed me to adapt my daily activities into lessons learned or skills acquired that I will certainly take into my next professional endeavors.

At the end of my time with Blue Star Contemporary, I was able to share my experience at Trinity’s Summer Undergraduate Research Conference where students present their own findings in different areas of study, discussing experiences from art museum internships to biology research.

My opportunity to use my well-rounded skills during the internship with Blue Star Contemporary allowed me to share the prominence of contemporary art in the San Antonio community while promoting the value of a liberal arts education.

The combination of sharing the experiences of my internship and hearing about my peers’ summer experiences fostered an encouraging and open-minded environment not only in the immediate room, but also throughout the entire university.

At the end of the internship and my presentation, I was truly satisfied with how I spent the summer. I felt successful. Entering my freshman year at Trinity, I felt an intense pressure to choose the correct major that would lead to the ideal version of success. As a rising junior, I can now say I chose to study what made me happy and that has led to my success.

It’s true when Albert Schweitzer said: “If you love what you’re doing, you will be successful.”

https://rivardreport.wildapricot.org

Top image: “Scattering Screen” by Alyson Shotz at the Blue Star Contemporary’s “Art in the Garden” exhibit. Photo courtesy of Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum.

Related Stories:

Blue Star Contemporary Hosts Off-Site Art During Summer Renovations

WATCH: Blue Star Students Use 1,000 Handmade Tiles for Mosaic

America By Rail & Bike: Elena’s Summer Internship

A Smithsonian Young Ambassador Reflects on SAMA Internship

Angela Wilson

Angela Wilson is a rising junior at Trinity University, where she is studying studio art and arts, letters, and enterprise. She plans to attend graduate school and work in the art field in the future.