Behind the Scenes, Getty Foundation, Philanthropy

New Perspectives: Exploring Career Paths at the 2013 Getty Intern Arts Summit

On July 1st, 120 Multicultural Undergraduate Interns from across Los Angeles arrived at the Getty Center to participate in Arts Summit—a daylong event with career sessions, an inspirational speaker, and behind-the-scenes tours of the museum. This internship program happens each summer at arts organizations across L.A. county, including the Getty. I was lucky enough to get a preview of the Arts Summit professional development day during the first two weeks of my internship at the Getty Foundation. I helped our team prepare for the event, compiling speaker bios, preparing informational packets, and designing communication materials.

Mark Bradford—the keynote speaker—set the tone for the day by giving a comedic, yet thought-provoking, speech revolving around individuality and personal philanthropy. In 1994, Bradford was an intern at Side Street Projects as part of the Getty Multicultural Undergraduate Program. Today, he is an internationally renowned artist best known for his large-scale, abstract paintings. Bradford emphasized his journey to discover his own artistic style and his efforts to engage with current social issues, such as the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. His speech made me think about how I can use my strengths and passions to pave a career path that not only pays the bills, but also makes a difference in other people’s lives. This fundamental idea stuck with me throughout the day.


Artist Mark Bradford speaking at the Getty Arts Summit on July 1, 2013

Of the 14 different career sessions offered that morning, I chose to attend the sessions focused on Exhibition Design, Art and Community, Public Programming, and Arts Education. I was amazed to see how passionate the speakers were about their organizations and projects, and how each speaker was so different from one another, even though they all worked in the visual arts. For example, Karla Diaz, founder of the artist collective Slanguage Studio, focuses on bridging connections between diverse groups and communities, while Clement Hanami, the art director at the Japanese American National Museum, aims to engage audiences by telling a story through the design of an exhibition.


Karla Diaz of Slanguage Studio leads a session about engaging the community through art.

The most fascinating part of Arts Summit was realizing that I am a small part of a larger community of scholars, artists, activists, and other art professionals. Meeting with interns from museums and cultural institutions across Los Angeles and talking with local arts leaders made me excited about how my current internship and my future career experiences in the arts could be tailored to my personal interests but still align with the principle of serving my community.

Before Arts Summit, I had been exposed to different jobs in museums, but I did not recognize the full scope of the career options that are available in the visual arts. With the new perspective that Arts Summit gave me and an energized attitude, I’m excited to transform new acquaintances into friendships and begin to explore career paths I had never considered.


Hilary Walter, Program Assistant at the Getty Foundation, catches up with interns at the end of a great day.

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      Olympian Census #4: Aphrodite

      Get the stats on your favorite (and not-so-favorite) gods and goddesses on view at the Getty Center.

      Roman name: Venus

      Employment: Goddess of Love and Beauty

      Place of residence: Mount Olympus

      Parents: Born out of sea foam formed when Uranus’s castrated genitals were thrown into the ocean

      Marital status: Married to Hephaestus, the God of Blacksmiths, but had many lovers, both immortal and mortal

      Offspring: Aeneas, Cupid, Eros, Harmonia, Hermaphroditos, and more

      Symbol: Dove, swan, and roses

      Special talent: Being beautiful and sexy could never have been easier for this Greek goddess

      Highlights reel:

      • Zeus knew she was trouble when she walked in (Sorry, Taylor Swift) to Mount Olympus for the first time. So Zeus married Aphrodite to his son Hephaestus (Vulcan), forming the perfect “Beauty and the Beast” couple.
      • When Aphrodite and Persephone, the queen of the underworld, both fell in love with the beautiful mortal boy Adonis, Zeus gave Adonis the choice to live with one goddess for 1/3 of the year and the other for 2/3. Adonis chose to live with Aphrodite longer, only to die young.
      • Aphrodite offered Helen, the most beautiful mortal woman, to Paris, a Trojan prince, to win the Golden Apple from him over Hera and Athena. She just conveniently forgot the fact that Helen was already married. Oops. Hello, Trojan War!

      Olympian Census is a 12-part series profiling gods in art at the Getty Center.


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