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Farewell to the Interns

May 25, 2010

On Friday we will say good-bye to our McDermott Interns, Logan Acton and Justin Greenlee.  Logan and Justin have been with us since September, and they have contributed in numerous ways to the work we do with students and teachers.  We appreciate all of their hard work this year, and we will miss them more than they know!

Below are some of their thoughts about their internship experience this year.

Molly Kysar
Head of Teaching Programs

What has been a highlight of your experience as a McDermott Intern?

Logan: When the Hoffman Galleries were installed with works of art dealing with narrative and time, I was immediately drawn to Gregory Crewdson‘s photographs.  I had numerous opportunities to share this interest with others, including leading activities in the UT Dallas honors seminar this spring. This year, the seminar included a lecture series with six guest speakers, including Gregory Crewdson.  Not only were the students and staff able to attend the lecture, but we were also given the opportunity to meet with Crewdson for a personal question and answer session.

Justin: I loved going back to a school I’d already visited with Go van Gogh and recognizing kids from classes I’d taught weeks before.  I’d get a high-five, or a “Hey, it’s that guy” reaction.  Whenever I visited a school, I was their special event for the day — like recess, but not as predictable. The Go van Gogh staff received great thank you notes during the course of the year.  My favorite: “You rock.  I wish you came every day.”

What has been your most unexpected or memorable experience?

Logan: Something unexpected occurs almost every time I have an experience with students.  On one tour, I pointed out Untitled (Perfect Lovers) by Felix Gonzales-Torres.  Initially, many students were skeptical, though intrigued, at the idea of two wall clocks constituting a great work of art.  One young lady became very engaged and vocal about the process of creating a piece of art like this.  I asked her to describe how she herself might make a work of art about life or death.  After thinking for a moment, she explained in considerable detail a dark room with a box in the middle that produced a thin but consistent stream of smoke.  I asked her how she thought someone with no knowledge of her idea or intent might feel upon walking into that room.  She smiled and looked at the clocks and said that they might not think it was art at all, and on second thought she really liked these clocks.

 Justin: Driving the Go van Gogh van around Dallas has been an adventure.  I’ve been all over Dallas, visiting the nooks and crannies of DISD.  Even after six months in Dallas, I couldn’t get anywhere if it wasn’t on the way to an elementary school.

What have you learned as a result of your experience as a McDermott Intern?

Logan: I have spent hours in the galleries with students and teachers, and this has helped me grow in my own interests and abilities as an educator.  Jumping in to work with an encyclopedic collection, I learned a lot about the works and the cultures that produced them, but also about myself and where my strongest interests lay.  Although I had always enjoyed modern and contemporary art, I really fell in love with artists who I initially knew very little about like Trenton Hancock, Gregory Crewdson, and Matthew Barney.  My time spent educating fed this passion as I was able to explore my ideas with other people.  From these experiences I began to learn which ways of teaching worked best for me and how to adapt to different situations.  I applied for this internship because it combined my passion for art and education; as my time at the Museum draws to a close, I feel more in love with both than when I began.

Justin: I’ve learned a lot from the people I’ve met in Dallas.  I’ll miss TAG teachers, Go van Gogh volunteers, docents, Museum staff…  I’ve really enjoyed sit-down conversations with many different types of people.  I think I’ve become a better teacher, and I’ve gained a lot of respect for the hard-working teachers in DISD.

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