2017 Fall Interns: Half-a-Year in the Life

December 14, 2017 by

Left to right: Studio Intern Morgan Allen, Nonprofit Management Intern El Horsfall, Studio Intern Serena Hocharoen

It’s day one, six months ago. Serena Hocharoen arrives first and moves her things into the room with the pink door and window-frame. Outside, El Horsfall is unpacking her car and dropping boxes on the screened-in porch. She heads upstairs to claim the room accented with sky blue. The two of them head to Target to pick up twin sheets and return to find Morgan Allen settling into the third room through an ajar navy door. The following night they gather for a beer and share stories about art-making.

It’s today, six months later. Summer Intern, Sara Quinn, has come and gone. After assisting with our Summer Art Institute (SAI), she’s now an art educator in New Orleans. Morgan, El, and Serena missed her company over the last four months, but continued to work together and grow close as a trio.

Each having experience in a few of the WSW studios, they expanded their knowledge of media together. Down in the ceramics studio, Serena showed El how to throw on a wheel. Morgan worked with Serena in intaglio, teaching her the basics of dry-point etching. In preparation for their end-of-term gallery, ex/changes, El assisted Morgan in the silkscreen studio.

The show reflected these transfers, but occupied three distinct sections. Following the development of her brand, El built a small store of products, including stickers, silkscreened patches, and shirts. Along the hall, Morgan’s three foot tall screen-prints on handmade paper hung boldly next to a hand-bound book of leaves and poetry. Meanwhile, Serena created her own space of contemplation with a collection of small prints, sculptures, and memories installed next to the office stairs.

When asked about the most valuable part of their internship, our interns unanimously agreed on studio time. Every moment in our facilities, from assisting Artists-in-Residence to exploring new techniques outside of work, provided invaluable lessons. Serena also pointed out the blessing of having experienced artists on staff, and loved working alongside Studio Manager Chris Petrone and Artistic Director Erin Zona.

Overall, the WSW community had an enormous impact on their experience, and our interns say that they’ll miss being part of it. For them, this included a stream of SAI instructors and Artists-in-Residence, many of whom shared their home in the Anne Atwood House for a period of time. Serena remembers walking down the hall behind Artist’s Book Resident Catrin Morgan and seeing her “swerve to the right for a second” before returning to her original path. “I laughed and she turned around and laughed and said ‘That was just a glitch.'”

One of Morgan’s favorite memories was an intern outing to a local orchard. In between navigating a map of a couple dozen apple varieties and enjoying a view of the colorful autumn valley, she happened upon a “perfect apple,” complete with a single, picturesque leaf at its stem.

There are thousands of funny and fond moments like these, but El also notes how empowering it was to report only to women, lamenting that it felt “unusual not to ultimately defer to a man.” She also treasured the opportunity to get to know so many artists’ creative practices while producing video interviews for the Workshop. In fact, all three interns mentioned how impactful it was to see so many women-identified artists at work and learn from each of their unique processes.

Now, after six months of getting to know artists, staff, founders, and each other, our interns are getting ready to uproot.

Morgan is returning home for a while, ready for a break since it’s been “go, go, go, ever since we got here.” She has ideas for projects she’d like to work on in the future, likely involving her skills with papermaking and book arts, but for now she’s hoping to work, save money, and eventually find studio access somewhere.

El is moving to the Midwest for a videography internship, where she’ll continue to interview women about their lives for another nonprofit. Hopefully, this will grant her experience as well as pave the way for a career in video and filmmaking.

Until Serena finds another studio to create in, she’ll be reviewing a list of every print and papermaking process she wants to try. Since expanding her knowledge of paper production and silkscreen here, her primary goal leaving WSW is continuing her “practice and material exploration.”

We share this goal for all three of them. Having seen what they’ve accomplished in only a short amount of time here, we hope that they continue to follow and find new creative pursuits. We’re confident in their talents, and will be cheering them on from Binnewater Lane.