How I Spent My Summer: Anyssa Flores

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The University of Texas campus was quiet over the summer, while students and faculty spent their time working on projects around the globe. The College of Fine Arts was no exception. Students and faculty from all three departments took advantage of the break from coursework to pursue research, teach seminars or test the waters of a future career. Here is a glimpse into what happens when classes end, and the fun begins.

Department of Art and Art History Senior Anyssa Flores, Visual Art Studies, interned at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.

Children participate in an educational program at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.Tell me a little bit about what kind of work you did this summer at the Guggenheim.

This summer I was a Family Programs intern in the Education Department of the Guggenheim Museum. During my internship I would facilitate activities at exhibition openings, events and museum hours. I also helped the educators lead summer camps and tours, did research on various artists and helped create activities based on the artwork on view. Additionally, the Guggenheim had a Museum Culture Seminar Program where I got to visit other arts institutions and learn about their history, exhibitions and programming.

Is there anything about the museum that you especially love or made you want to work there this summer?

Apart from loving the architecture of the museum and their collection, I was really excited to be working with the Guggenheim’s two summer exhibitions. The first was a retrospective on artist Doris Salcedo whose work I’m completely obsessed with. Her work addresses issues of political violence happening in Colombia and around the world through sculptures that are simultaneously poetic and haunting. Having the opportunity to meet her and see the science behind her artwork during installation was such an incredible and moving experience. The second was Storylines, which was an exhibition of Contemporary Art that included a lot of artists that I love such as Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Ryan McGinley, Maurizio Cattelan, Julieta Aranda and Catherine Opie. Being able to walk up the famous rotunda and engage with their artwork everyday was amazing.

Did you accomplish or complete any work you found particularly interesting or are especially proud of?

Besides doing research and creating activities I was proud of, I really enjoyed getting to educate people and doing activities right in front of the artwork in the museum. Because of the complex subject matter, I think that contemporary art can be one of the most interesting and difficult subjects to educate people on, especially younger audiences. Learning how to lead those discussions and understand how people experience artwork was really beneficial to both my practice as an educator and an artist.

While in NYC, did you take some time for fun or sightseeing?

I did so much sightseeing on my days off and ate all kinds of great food—it was like being a three-month-long tourist! The subway system is so convenient, and you could get anywhere in NYC in a short amount of time. I would spend the day seeing art at the museums or Chelsea galleries and then end up in Chinatown for dinner, or I would take a short trip to Coney Island for the beach or a baseball game. On days I had nature withdrawals, I could hang out in Central or Prospect Park. Even walking around the city was always a fun adventure in itself.

How do you see this summer changing you as you return to Austin for the new school year?

Living in NYC and working at an institution like the Guggenheim for three months taught me a lot about the reality of how the art world operates. There are so many artists and creative people living in NYC, and everyone is so busy that time moves at a much faster pace when you’re living there. Realizing both of those things made me a lot more ambitious and confident about going after the things that I want and materializing ideas I have for my own artwork. Overall, I had an amazing summer in NYC and feel inspired to return to Austin and immerse myself in learning and art-making again.

Back to top