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Internship ends, connections continue

by Jaq Nigg | Jul 05, 2012

by Taylor Jeromos, festivals intern

I've had the pleasure of being an intern for the Eiteljorg's festivals department this summer. I've worked on planning next September's WestFest and was also exited to help prep for the 2012 Indian Market and Festival. I had attended the event several times, but this was my first “behind the scenes” look. Amidst my days of laminating, calling artists and getting signs ready, I sensed that there was a part of the festival that I hadn’t really anticipated—the personal friendships with artists that many of the Eiteljorg staff had cultivated over the years.

I overheard many phone calls from staff to artists who were excited to see one another. During artist registration on Friday, I saw loads of hugs between staff and artists—I couldn’t count them all if I tried. To be honest, I felt a little left out.

But working Indian Market, and seeing the event from beginning to end, I have been able to develop a small (though not any less important) list of personal connections to artists. I also realized how easy it was to get to know the fantastic artists that come to our market.

While booth-sitting for David A. and David R. Boxley (Tsimshian performers, as well as talented painters and wood carvers), I struck up a conversation with two artists who I will most certainly visit at next year’s Indian Market.

With painter Nocona Burgess, I discussed the benefits of being a successful artist. Jake (the collections intern) and I chatted with sculptor Tone Washburn about Indianapolis nightlife and his job on an oil rig. Notably, Tone showed me that one of his statues—a graceful, coral carving—seemed to have an internal glow when held up to sunlight.

Additionally, I met and talked with Paul LaRoche, founder of Brulé. Though I admittedly felt a little star-struck at meeting the award-winning musician, chatting with him about the different facets within the Native American music field gave me a better understanding of a genre that I didn’t know much about. Additionally, it helped me to appreciate their distinctive blend of contemporary and native music – which totally rocks.

Though I won’t be the intern for next year’s market, I do know that I will continue to strengthen my familiarity with the artists who visit. There’s a lot to be said for learning about the life and personality behind the art. Friendship gives each piece more meaning. It’s not just a painting or a sculpture anymore—it’s a story, a smile, and a memory that will continue to thrive throughout my connection to the Eiteljorg.


Photo:
2012 Festivals interns, Taylor and Katie, with Brulé.

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