ASC Art Service Project Fall 2020: Lorena Cuenca

Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum

Lorena outside the Perez Art Museum Miami, Florida, 2020. Image Taken by Eric Forteza (CC by 4.0)

STUDENT BIOGRAPHY

Hi! I am Lorena Cuenca, and I am a junior at the Florida International University Honors College where I am majoring in Business Administration. While academics are my priority, I like to dabble in performance arts. I really enjoy writing music, singing, choreographing, and dancing. I truly want nothing more than to see the world; while Miami is a beautiful city, I know that there is so much more than what is in my own backyard.

WHO

This semester I had the honor of interning at the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum. The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum stands as “one of the largest academic art museums in South Florida”. The museum and its exhibits and collections are set in a beautiful 46,000 square foot building adorned with sculptures at every angle making the experience itself that much more beautiful when visiting.

Image Taken by Lorena Cuenca (CC by 4.0)

WHY & HOW

My interest in the Frost Art Museum started out as sheer convenience and confusion but quickly turned into one of the most incredible and enlightening experiences I have ever had. This internship became my intellectual and artistic outlet when all else seemed to fail me this semester and I have no one else to thank other than Professor Bailly for pushing me to start this relationship. When I was first told that I had to intern or volunteer at an art facility or with an artist for an assignment at the beginning of the semester I was worried. I had no connections and little interest; just thinking about having to put myself out there and possibly letting someone down in a project of their passion frightened me. I reached out to a plethora of different organizations only to sit around and wait for them to contact me back. When I was finally reached out to about sending my resume and cover letter I did so right away. The process was filled with more waiting and anticipating on my part and when we scheduled an interview, I could not have been more excited. I finally found a place that would take me. As odd as that might sound, it felt great. The interview itself went well, I met the lovely Miss Emily Afre and we talked about the program I would potentially be a part of. At the end of the interview, I was told I had been admitted and all I had to do was wait for the documents to be sent my way and fill them out. The onboarding process would take around two weeks and then I would start being trained to give tours as a gallery guide. While being a business major and an aspiring law student has nothing to do with art at first glance, it never hurts to enjoy it. I think in the past I have put so much pressure on myself to get the message that it has prevented me from seeing what I could have if I only gave myself the chance. I think this experience has taught me that. Knowing that I will be giving tours to children has reminded me that sometimes it is important to look at something with a new set of eyes and a clear mind. Not everything you see will scream right at you, some things will not even whisper. Kids seem to always know something, something we do not. They see something more, something we cannot, and I am really looking forward to regaining that perspective and sharing with them my own. I want them to learn from me as much as I want to learn from them. I want them to fill in the missing pieces. That way, we all see the bigger picture.

WHERE & WHAT

Because I entered the program in the latter half of the semester, I have yet to do most of what the other gallery guides have. My journey has only begun and will not end until I graduate. For this I am grateful, I have so much more to learn and experience in this internship and I would not want it any other way. So far, I have spent most of my time doing independent study, spending anywhere from three to five hours a week learning about the different exhibits currently at the museum and those that will be incorporated once the new semester begins. I have only been in the program for around three weeks.

During my first week, I conversed with Emily Afre about the first set of pieces I would have to know to give tours, I was sent a walkthrough presentation of the sculptures in the yard with corresponding information. That week, I took it upon myself to research the sculptures and artists who created them to become a little more familiar with the walkthrough itself. The following week, Emily went over the presentation and gave me pointers on how to talk and communicate with those potentially receiving the tours; essentially, how to make the experience that much more enjoyable and interactive. The third week has just been filled with me preparing myself to give a mock tour. For the mock tour, I will be presenting to Emily the information I learned during my independent study time. I will be able to show her what I know and my potential. The mock tour itself will take place during the fourth week over zoom. On the same day, I will be visiting the museum to take a look at the different pieces and exhibits as well as take pictures while I can. Because this internship is on pause during the break, unfortunately, that is all I will have done until the next semester. Once the new exhibits come in and the semester begins, I will be shadowing tours and doing some of my own which is extremely exciting.

WHEN

Total Hours: 10.25

SUMMARY

I really enjoyed my experience interning at the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum this semester. While short, my experience has proven itself to be therapeutic and informative enough to have me excited and looking forward to next semester. I am thrilled to have been given this opportunity and to be trusted with such responsibility, I know I can do this. Once the new semester begins and everything is set into motion things will become more exciting. I have absolutely no complaints about my experience, had I known about this internship earlier I would have applied then. I am looking forward to what is yet to come and prove myself as a tour guide in the gallery guide program.

CITATIONS

Florida International University – Digital Communications. “Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum.” Florida International University: Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, frost.fiu.edu/.

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