I’m the new intern with the Petteys Collection of Women Artists for this Spring, so allow me to introduce myself. My name is Erin and I am a Senior here at UNC with a double major in Art History and Studio Arts with an emphasis in Drawing. Post-graduation, I am looking into Masters programs where I hope to further pursue my research in Contemporary and Modern arts. When I’m not busy burying my nose into textbooks and articles or working on my own art, I enjoy going on hikes, yoga, and most of all- spending time with my dog, Harold.
This week I was so excited to begin my adventure with the collection!
TUESDAY – JANUARY 30TH
I was fortunate enough to get to sit in on a talk given by our visiting artist, Gregg Deal who has been a working artist for the better part of 15 years. For this particular talk, since it was for the art education class, Deal discussed the importance of identity in the childhood experience. He explained children, especially those of mixed nationalizes, have the experience of having many identities and each of these identities can be rather fragile, so teachers should work to try and understand their students and their particular sensitivities.
The beliefs Deal holds about holding true to his indigenous background and identity were made clear when he briefly showed us some of his artwork. Many of the pieces worked in a way that showed the viewer the harm caused when we diminish one group of people in order to raise another. What I found interesting here was when a student asked Deal if he considers himself to be an activist, he said no. He says he makes art for arts sake, and this is the feelings he wants to produce. So, did he have a problem with being labeled as an activist? No, but it was clear this was not his primary goal as an artist.
THURSDAY – FEBRUARY 1ST
Today, I got to meet with the rest of the faculty I’ll be working with throughout the rest of this internship: Rachel, Jay, and Laura. After some brief introductions, it was time to enter the archives! Rachel, Jay, and Laura walked me through the rows and rows of shelving, giving me the scoop behind how things operate and some fun “insider” knowledge about notable alum and historical happenings from the University. After a little bit of time, we finally came upon the most exciting part of the archives – The Petteys Collection (yeah, okay, I'm a little biased).
There are moments in life where there aren't words to express the excitement you feel and getting a look at the boxes and boxes that I know I'll soon be able to work with was one of those moments. All I can say is my heart skipped a little thinking about all the meticulous note keeping Chris Petteys did. I truly can't wait until I get to begin unpacking the boxes to see what is all inside. Not mention when I will get to interact with the physical artwork as well (eee!).
Well, friends, that's it for this week. Check back in every week for more updates.
Let the adventure begin!