As I walked up the steps of the Rollins Museum of Art this morning, I couldn’t believe the summer had passed so quickly. On May 16, I started my dream internship as the Association of Art Museum Directors intern at RMA, now I start my last week of the most amazing experience. The time truly has flashed by seemingly in an instant.
That first week, the museum’s walls were bare, as the team transitioned from one season of exhibitions to the next, which seems a fitting metaphor for my starting point this summer. While I have always aimed for a career in the field of museums, my experience – much like the walls of RMA in my first week – was a blank slate. At that moment, I felt like the summer would go on forever, giving me all the time in the world to experience every facet of this institution and fill my blank slate. Eleven weeks past that point, I have experienced more than I could have hoped for and yet, there is still so much more to learn.
In my time interning at RMA, I have gained an understanding of the priorities and goals of an academic art museum as it works to educate and make learning accessible to the greater community; learned the exceptional qualities that make RMA so unique, such as its ample opportunities for engagement with its patrons through programming; and discovered how my own skillset can effectively serve an institution such as this one. Representing RMA at the Association of Academic Art Museums and Galleries conference, I realized how this internship sets me on a path toward my goals. My conversations with the RMA staff and those attending the AAMG conference provided me the proof that no single path is the “right one” in this field. I can confidently say that with the tools RMA has given me, I know that I am capable of achieving success in every area of my life. Under the mentorship of RMA Director Dr. Ena Heller and Associate Curator of Education David Matteson, I know I have the support and resources to pave my own path toward anything I aim to accomplish.
As the summer comes to an end, I cannot thank the Rollins Museum of Art and the Association of Art Museum Directors enough for this opportunity. Being able to write and record an audio guide, produce Teaching Portfolios from concept development through design, learn from and share ideas with professionals from across the country, and share all RMA has to offer with my greater community has added context and depth to my desire to become a part of this remarkable field.
I have had such an empowering experience this summer and I look forward to all that is to come as a result of what I have learned.
Kalista Rojas, Rollins Museum of Art’s AAMD Summer Intern, 2023