The magnificent museum, it's beauty was still glowing even through the construction. The Whitney Museum holds a lot of delight in a small corner of Manhattan. The lights that welcomed me in, caught my attention. Round shaped, repeated, and different, they stood out and gave the museum a feeling of uniqueness.
Seeing art by Alexander Calder was really interesting. You may not have noticed, but his work is all over the city. You can pass by and love it and not know who made it. We spoke about how artists get their inspiration and how his art moves, seems to move and is made to move.
Yet my favorite part was meeting up with everyone once more, it made me think of my days as a Bloomberg Arts Intern.
Photo: Nadia Misir
There’s something about Lincoln Center in the evening. Whether you’re there to enjoy a show inside the theater or the fountain show outside, something about the experience is magical and memorable. Last Friday we saw the play “War Horse”. Many of our interns had never been to a play before.
Below, four of our interns recount their experiences at Lincoln Center and give their review of “War Horse”.
It seemed unreal—almost as if it was all a good dream. I felt like I was on the set of a movie filming; the lights, so soft and warm, reflected in the crystal clear streams of water bursting out of the fountain hoses. The sound of the horses
galloping through the empty streets, tourists gazing at its magnitude, stunned by its unbelievable architecture. To avoid entering the theater was impossible. Curiosity had spread, taking control of my mind like a virus. The sound of my footsteps echoed within the empty halls. As I got closer
it was harder and harder to turn back. The sound had left me in a trance leading me straight to its presence. Before I knew it I was sitting in a dark room full of others like me, curious yet entertained. The instruments each complemented each other in such a beautiful way. My head began moving to the rhythm. But that was a long time ago at a place I know as Lincoln Center at night.
It was my first experience watching a play. Now I’ve been to large sporting events—you know, baseball games at
Citi Field and Yankee Stadium, but never to an actual live play, which is strange because I live in a city where the performance arts are such a prominent feature. I don't know why I was so thrown off by plays. They seemed
so distant and esoteric—not part of the New York where I’m from, so when I was offered the ticket to see War Horse I mainly rejected it, thinking I would not be able to enjoy or relate to it in any way.
A fellow Bloomberg Arts intern then convinced me to go and I have yet to regret it. It was a great experience stepping into that large theater lobby where a huddling mass of people await the play to start. With a ticket in hand I step into the spacious and dark arena. The room is a few degrees colder than the lobby and a cold chill gives me goose bumps. I stutter and realize I’m supposed to be here and should go take a seat.
The play itself was eerie at first. The actors were so close I felt that if I really wanted to I could disturb the performance at any moment. Even though the stage was bare, the extremely creative use of where props and actors
were placed made it come to life. The people who were standing in as props were dressed so that their outfits matched the color palette of the thing they were portraying. It was so effective that the people who were standing in as the fences around a horse ranch just completely disappeared and fully became part of the scene.
One aspect I really enjoyed was the motif of the de-glorifying of war. There is a part where Joey (the titular war horse) was being shipped to battle. The scene shifted from the beginning starting with an upbeat Irish-themed war song and it slowly shifted into a disastrous cacophony of piano riffs and crashing waves and thunderclaps; all the while you can still hear the patriotic theme chugging along. The play tries to portray the real consequences of war—often crossing the boundary into sensory overload, specifically when the Calvary are given orders to charge at enemy machine guns. That purposeful environment creates an experience so realistic that I kept thinking to myself, what if there was a PTSD sufferer in the audience, they would never be able to make it halfway through this play.
War Horse often extended the performance off the stage. I thought I was going to trip over an actor as he came flying down the stairs next to me. My foot was out and it missed him by inches. My only major criticism (if you can call it that) of the show is that after the show, I felt deceived because they make you empathize with characters that meet such terrible conclusions. The heartwarming tale of a boy and his horse make it all worthwhile.
When I first heard of War Horse, it was the movie by Stephen Spielberg. And although I love Spielberg’s movies, War Horse did not exactly jump out at me based on what I saw from the trailers. It seemed meh, it didn’t exactly leave a lasting impression on me besides a vague memory of boring, but pretty visuals. But after watching the play, I admit I am curious to compare and contrast the movie and the play. Visual aspects definitely seem to be the focus point of both, not story. For the most part, it’s about a boy and his horse. When the horse is taken into World War I, it’s up to the boy to find him and bring him back home.
As much as this play surprised me with its characters it does stand in line at the cliché buffet. It is a story of a boy and his pet and about how their bond could never be broken and the same shtick you’d get from several movies from the 1980s to 1990s. When the boy joins the army and befriends a black soldier, my immediate thought was,“Okay, when does he die?”. And guess what, he does die (I’d normally give a spoiler warning, but really, who didn’t see that coming?).
However, just because a story is indulging in clichés doesn’t mean it can’t still be enjoyable. I personally loved the British general that heckles the main character about going all the way to WWI for a horse, which to a major degree, I have to agree with. The drunken dad was also likeable until he whips the main character
in the face, and until that point, I was rooting for him.
There’s also something I’d like to call “The Draco Malfoy Syndrome”. Malfoy was the bully in the Harry Potter franchise. While he was a jerk and definitely seemed sketchy, he overall did nothing to impact the story, barely even giving the main character a rival to battle. Yeah, War Horse has one of those, and I really did not like that. As
a writer myself, I find it a rather unnecessary tease to make an almost harmless rival or antagonist (unless it’s used for comedic effect) that feels pointless.
The two characters who make this story, who truly make it entertaining and thrilling, are the German General, Fredric and the French girl, Emily. These two deserved every second they were on stage, and then some. Eventually the horse arrives with Fredric onto Emily’s farm and the two basically frolic, trying their best to
basically forget their troubles and the war. The banter between the two is both hilarious and adorable, and the only reason I really cared about the main character is because I was worried whether or not he’d come in and, because of
the language barrier, kill one of them. And when Fredric and Emily have their final scenes, I almost stopped
caring. Luckily, this horse is a comedic magnet, and everywhere he goes he runs into other funny characters—none
as funny or as touching as Fredric and Emily, but what are you going to do?
Now the stage work was, just like the movie, beautiful seemed to be the main focus of the whole production. Things seem to emerge out of nowhere from the dark void that is the background. There is one point where there is an
entire crowd of characters on stage and for any comprehendible dialogue to be heard, everyone freezes and the stage slowly spins around in what is an extremely effective technical choice. Gun props are nice and loud for those
who love authenticity and at the same time a thunderclap to the eardrum. The white piece of cloth overhead is a
piece to be projected onto which will help with transitions, background images, and just things that can’t be shown on a stage. The score works with the scenes, and I love it.
So overall War Horse is definitely worth the trouble of attending. Sure, the main character is a bit bland and one note in the grand scheme of things, the story’s drenched in clichés, and in the story’s universe everyone seems to
treat horses as if they were furry baby angels, but all in all it’s an interesting and very enjoyable play. Anyone who’s curious and has money to spend, spend it on a ticket to War Horse.
On August 10th, 2012 I saw my first play. Before the doors opened I had an amazing time with several of my friends. We cooled off next to the fountain in front of Lincoln Center. The water danced in a show of heights and splashes. From skipping quarters and dimes to making a wish and just talking beneath the tall trees, Lincoln Center is magical. As it got closer to the time for the play to begin the world got darker.
Upon entering, I bought water—it was the best water I had ever tasted. Row "G", seat 10, I took a seat and went over my playbill and turned off anything that could be a distraction. Then the play began. I found myself in a place like no other, like watching a television show behind the director. The lights and sound were fantastic, so much so that they terrified me many times. Out of all the characters, the goose was my favorite—funny, smart and fierce, it
walked through the stage holding its own. The play was fantastic, even though some words were hard to understand, it was amazing and I would do it all over again.
Photos, galas, old, enchanting, work.
The file room—I always thought it would be boring. Casita Maria has a file room just like any other workplace with files. At first I thought the files would just be boring and plain. I came across a huge broken down box. It had dust and it smelled of old paper. Within the box laid many
photographs; some were tiny clips with still images.
The images had color, yet they seemed old. Men wore black ties, women fancy dresses; they all seemed very rich and
very happy. Going through those images lightened up the work, I imagined myself there, in the photographs. It looked like a fairytale, an enchanting world found at work.
Melted coffee cup and made mess.
I was excited in a way. Drinking coffee with other workers seemed like such an adult thing to do. I followed one of my supervisors to the conference room and let her make her coffee first. There were others in the room and everything was so casual. Then I put my plastic cup under the spout and let the coffee fill it. I wish I would have realized that there was a hot plate. I took the melted cup off the hot plate and put it on the table. It basically proceeded to disintegrate and spill coffee everywhere. At first I was very afraid. I made a big mess, a big mistake, and that usually translates to big trouble. However, everyone laughed. They were so amused and even helped me clean it. I think it was at that moment that I realized it was okay to make mistakes. I’ve tried for so long to be as perfect as possible with as little mistakes as possible. Now I know that it isn’t about not making mistakes, but how you handle them.
Staff meeting, bad news, upcoming events.
We had a staff meeting Wednesday, July 25th. It was scheduled mainly to talk about the outdoor summer concert, but something else came up. It was emphasized that we are a team who constantly needs to communicate with one
another; otherwise things that may have been expected to be known or done wouldn’t turn out that way. It really opened my eyes to the environment I’m in. Everyone works in different departments, but in a sense we are all very much connected and we all have to keep that in mind. Little projects are expected of everyone by a certain day so that the big picture can come together. That can’t happen if one of those projects or “to-dos” weren’t done because something as misunderstood or left out.
Computers, fix, happy, progress, faster, impressed.
Computers. What to do?! Eight computers are non-working. So much expected, but I have no clue. I begin to work and a lot is completed. Progress coming faster than expected. One day passed by and all computers were fixed. All supervisors very impressed.
Mike. Alyssa. Studio. Julie. Positive. Raining.
On a rainy Friday morning, I sat at my desk dozing off as an ongoing conversation was being carried amongst Julie and the interns. I was not having a good day, as I had walked though rain, nearly missed my train and did not eat a large breakfast. But the mood turned positive as Julie turned to me and mentioned the comments made by my
supervisor. Crazy how a simple compliment can just brighten your day.
The day the museum stood still.
When I started the internship I discovered how many people don’t know about the New York Historical Society. On a quiet Monday the museum was still, not one hair out of place. Everyone was in their office. It was time for lunch when, still, there wasn’t anybody at the museum. By the end of the day no one came. I questioned “Why?” realizing after that the museum is closed on Monday. The next day I saw a few people.
- Nailene Cruz
When I started the internship I wanted to mature as much as possible. I wanted to be able to begin my transition into a working adult. Someone who did not need to depend on anyone but themselves. Someone who did not need an upper hand to manage finances. Someone who did not need to be fed. Someone who wasn’t afraid to ask questions in order to get tasks done. I was ready to make people proud, ready to produce great work and leave my supervisor with a great impression. While these results haven’t been immediate, I am currently working on achieving them as the internship progresses.
When I started the internship I wanted to gain work experience along with meeting new people. I have to admit, I was very much nervous and shy, but I soon opened up because everyone was so warm and inviting. I never imagined all of the opportunities I gained. Meeting fun and exciting people? Mission: accomplished. I learned how to apply my skills in a professional manner and discovered how open my future can really be.
Last Monday we went to MoMA PS1 and visited Armani and Emma at their worksite. While
touring the museum, I came across this piece called “Meeting” by James Turell. This piece was a room with benches that had a square opening at the top. This piece had a very calm, serene type of feel. Jansie even mentioned that it made him feel like he was at a beach, but that it “wasn’t art”. “Meeting” is more a conceptual piece than a visual one. I, however, thought it was art because it took an unusual thing and put it in an “art” setting. As you look up into the sky through the square opening, it sections off a part of the sky, focusing you in. I really liked this piece as it made you question “what is art”, while giving you a peaceful feel.
Stepping into MoMA PS1 gave me a sharp, seemingly definite impression. Young, twenty-something year old hipsters flocked around the old public school building. The young crowd is atypical of most museums which hold a variety of visitors. I thought the museum might be showy and condescending, but what followed
surprised me. The discussion we had was crucial to changing my opinion. Lindsay said contemporary art is like showing your grandma the internet (and trying to explain its value).” This helped me understand the value of contemporary art—that it is significant to the younger generation and contains ideas and messages that are interestingly relevant.
Our writing prompt for this week asked the interns to think about the difference between exposition and scene. We explored older memories of our childhood and the newer ones that are evolving this summer.Below, four of the interns working at the New York Historical Society, Studio Museum in Harlem, Harlem Stage and Nuyorican Poet’s Café share a scene about what they have, in many cases, unexpectedly discovered and learned at their different work sites.
I go to my worksite for the first day of work. This is the first job I’ve ever had and I feel like a baby bird being pushed from the nest, forced to either fly or die. As I walk through the front door the pit in my stomach grows.
I’m falling. I know where I need to go but I’m unsure of how to get there. What will be expected of me? What will I be doing? “Hello,” a voice calls to me. The voice echoes in my mind and I’m at peace. Someone is here to help. She shows me how to fly and the fear of crashing no longer weighs me down. I’m now ready to begin this new experience and I’ve made a new friend.
When I started the internship I wanted…to learn how to work better in a team. I have always been a separate gear spinning outside the intricate collaboration of others who rotate and turn harmoniously to operate a large clock.
When I started this internship I never imagined…that I would enjoy the work. I would be doing so much. At first, I thought I had signed myself up for the chopping block. Being indoors seemed like the execution of my summer vacation, but little did I know, working in a museum is just as much fun and educational as visiting one.
When I started the internship I learned how to…take heavily detailed notes. Consistently, I must record important phrases, objectives, lessons, questions, observations and more. Suddenly, I begin to feel like I’m the keyboard of a computer and those I listen to are the users pressing my keys.
When I started the internship I discovered…the road to college isn’t so bad. I’ve heard a lot of stories from present and former college students and have absorbed a lot of information and advice on how to reach my goals. Whereas before, I used to feel like a salmon swimming upstream against a torrent, the pressure has eased and I’m more relaxed in my approach.
During the week I love…going to work each morning. I’m greeted by friendly smiles and the homely scent of fresh coffee being made. I sit at the small, cozy table we interns have familiarized ourselves with in the center of the room. There’s a feeling of security at the table since the staff who can answer our questions, address our needs and even offer friendly conversations are surrounding us at all times.-Thomas Kallahan
When I started the internship I never imagined having such a nice supervisor. As I first enter the building, not knowing what to expect, I am greeted by security. Signed in as a visitor, I begin to walk up a flight of stairs. It is cold and smells like ocean water. When I reach the second floor, I glance at a waiting area with red couches where I am tempted to sit. The moment I sit down on one of the firm red couches, interns from different departments greet me. I am immediately intimidated. Suddenly the room becomes quiet, the interns disperse into the different areas of their departments.
Looking up I see my supervisor, Shanta Scott, greeting me with a handshake and a smile. My intimidation vanishes immediately. “Follow me” she says. Walking into one of the back rooms for a meeting, I feel a cold chill running down my back, as if I can see my breath if I try hard enough. “Tell me about yourself,” she asks. As I explain my qualifications, she maintains a still smile showing interest and kindness. Every comment she makes is humorous and affable. From that moment, I know she will be one of the best supervisors I will ever have.
We were all sitting around, my coworkers and I, talking freely. Nothing specific was being discussed, it was simply a general discussion about life, how our generations differ and how society changes for better or worse. I was listening at first, taking in the adults’ thoughts and opinions. However, they stopped at a point and waited for me to share my input. It was at this point that it occurred to me that I am no longer a boy. Not only was I capable of getting these people who were so much older and more established than me to respect me enough to hear me out, but I was also capable of presenting my thoughts in a way that they admired enough to discuss. I was even able to
justify my thoughts enough to get them to agree with me.
I felt as if I was no longer an intern, but an adult like them.
When I started this internship I wanted to expand my knowledge of the arts world. Before this art internship I was a big music head, but that as one of the only forms of art I was interested in—the other being graffiti, but some may argue if that is legitimate art or not. But throughout my experience in this internship, my appreciation for different styles of art has grown. Before my job at the Nuyorican Poets Café, I had never sat through a rehearsal for a live show or witnessed a live poetry session. Now that I work at the Nuyo I have grown an appreciation for what poets, actors and actresses can do and for their art. Going on field trips also made me grow an appreciation for paintings that before I would have thought had no meaning at all. This experience has definitely opened up my eyes to an entire world I was blind to before this internship. I think I definitely am achieving my goals for the summer and those goals are to expand my knowledge of the arts and to be productive over the summer.
For three weeks we’ve visited various museums and noticed the way curators choose to arrange and display objects to tell a story. We’ve also had a chance to meet museum educators and preparators and learned a little more about the process of creating exhibits.
Below, our interns write about a personal collection of their own and how they would
display it to the public if they were curator.
I collect comic books. I have some Batman, some Fantastic Four, some X-Men and some of everything. I would love to have more rare comics to display. If I were to have an exhibit of my comic books, I would split the exhibit
between showcasing comics published by DC, Marvel and other less mainstream publishers like Image, Mirage and Vertigo. I would want the beginning of the exhibit to focus on DC and then as the exhibit moves forward to add other publishers.
I would like my audience to learn the history of the comics and the social activism the comics dabbled in. I would want all the same comics to be grouped together and I would have a blurb on superheroes.
Since I would not want the public damaging my comic books, I would have the comics digitized onto an IPad so they can read the comic without damaging the paper. I would want the audience to enjoy looking at comic books and I would want the community of non-readers of comics to learn the history of comics, as well as the role comics played in history.
The items I collect the most are shoes. With every style and color, they represent a new and ideal personality I prefer to portray. The styles vary from comfort to contemporary. My shoes mean the most to me because they protect my feet from the external views of the world while boosting my confidence as I stand.
Each shoe has a personal story and memory. Looking up from above, my shoes, only my shoes, know the journey. From grass, to sand, to concrete and stone, they witness my travels till the very end.
My collection of shoes differs in presentation from others because of its style and color. They are young to the elders and classy to the youth. However the presentation relies on the environment I feel most comfortable in. Presentation is only for recognition, not for reinsurance.
I collect a variety of different things. However, my most valued and expressive collection would be my CD collection. I have been collecting CDs for about 4 years now and I have a very diverse collection. Every CD I have is not only unique in its genre, but each also differs in the story of why and how I acquired each CD. I feel that my collection, in many ways, acts as a physical representation of a part of who I am.
I display my collection in a way that is very easily accessible. It is displayed in my room, on my desk, organized in alphabetical order by artist. The information that I like to think my CDs display is my growth as a person and increase in maturity over time. I feel that if my collection is viewed in a chronological order, the fact that the CDs change, become more complex and sophisticated over time, each displaying a different type of tone, reflects how the person I am changed over time. As noted before, each CD carries a different story due to the fact that the acquisition behind each is so different. The presentation of my collection differs for each person due to the fact that while some people will just see it as some other CD collection, others might be able to make the link between who I am and what the CDs say about that person.
I collect Snapple caps. I love the little facts on the inside of each Snapple cap—it feels as though I'm learning a lot. I like that these facts force you to go online and see if they are true. Something as small as a cap is thought provoking, which I like.
If I can display the caps in a museum exhibit, I will do a lot of interesting things. I will have a wall with Snapple cap facts. I will have a part of the exhibit that is a game show where two people go up against each other and determine which of the Snapple cap facts is true. I will do a re-creation of a Snapple factory to show how Snapple’s are made. I will have a part where it shows different Snapple bottles throughout history and how the caps evolved. For kids I will have a section where they can create plastic Snapple bottles of their own and make the labels and
caps. Last, but not least, I will sell Snapple’s.
The demographic my exhibit will mostly be geared toward is young people. I think Snapple is something that appeals more to young people, so I think they would be more interested in this exhibit. Yet, I will have something for every one of all ages. As I mentioned before there is the activity of actually making a Snapple bottle for the kids. For older people I think they will enjoy the history and the recreation of a Snapple factory.
I think what I would want everyone to get out of the exhibit is learn certain facts and to really learn about the history of Snapple. I would want people to get a sense of how something as simple as a drink affects history and also has a history of its own.
There are many things in this world that can be collected depending on a collector’s interests. Collections may vary in all types of sizes, shapes and value. Although I have many games, it is nowhere near enough to be classified as
If I had the opportunity, I would increase my amount of video games and create a collection. I would display it in many different ways to the public. I would put the games in a rotating case so the public can view the video games from all angles, front and back. In front of the cases would be an IPad that shows a digital picture of both sides for a closer view and a demo of each game. The IPads would also show statistics of the games: the sales, popularity, ratings, and awards/ nominations. Each IPad would also tell the story of each game, what it is about and the process of how it was made and how long it took. There will be many different sections or exhibits to satisfy every age group and each will vary with old and modern games.
R&R at the New York Historical Society
The other week at the New York Historical Society, our group met up with Alice Stevenson, an art educator. She took us upstairs to a conference room. While there, she was explaining the process the museum took to implement their new children's section, the DiMenna Children’s History Museum, and mentioned a phrase: "R&R". “Rest and Relaxation”, I thought to myself. It didn't make any sense, so I shrugged it off and continued listening, but then Julie brought the term back to our attention.
It turns out that R&R in this context stands for the Rights and Reproductions department. Alice began talking about what that department does for the museum and it was like finding out about a new world of career choices. Now for me I never knew what I wanted to be growing up. I always wanted to get into the arts, but I was honestly hesitant. I constantly worried about job security and this type of field doesn't offer a lot of that. The wide gap between success and failure, especially in the film industry, always kept me at bay. I’m always dipping my toes in the water, but never jumping in, for fear of drowning, but this little interaction at the New York Historical Society opened the curtain, at least for me, to a whole new set of careers people who work in the business side of the creative and visual arts; the organizers, the accountants, the lawyers who make organizations like the Guggenheim and Museum of Modern Art all possible.
We went to MoMA PS1 yesterday afternoon, which is located in Long Island City. I know many of us made fun, strange and wonderful discoveries at the museum. In our group discussions several people mentioned that they especially enjoyed these exhibits:
by James Turrell [http://momaps1.org/exhibitions/view/170
by Saul Melman [http://momaps1.org/exhibitions/view/335
]The Forty Part Motet
by Janet Cardiff [http://momaps1.org/exhibitions/view/348
Definitely go visit if you get a chance! Afterward, we had time to stop by 5 Pointz, which is right next door.
The name 5Pointz comes from the notion of the five boroughs coming together as one.
For those of you who don't know about 5 Pointz, here's a link to their website:http://5ptz.com/graff/
After two weeks of participating in the Bloomberg Arts and Culture Internship, my appreciation for the arts has increased. Last week at the Queens Museum of Art, a piece of art spoke to me for the first time. The name of this piece is “After Philadelphia” by Juan Gonzalez.
In this piece the floor is replaced with water. It seems like the artist is portraying the after effects of a flood. All of the people are dressed differently and going in different
What this piece says to me is that everyone faces similar struggles, but everyone responds to those struggles in different ways. I stood and looked at this one piece for about 20 minutes. I was truly fascinated—it is an experience I will never forget because it was the first time a piece of art spoke to me.
- Anthony Rivera