Internship Spotlight: Ava Peterson ’24

Today’s featured summer experience is that of Ava Peterson, a junior from Columbus, Ohio! She is pursing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art as well as a minor in Art History and Visual Culture. In the summer of 2022, Ava interned at the Columbus Museum of Art (CMoA) as a Summer Arts Workshop Intern. Here are her insights and reflections from this experience:

What drew you to this experience? What were your duties/tasks in your summer internship?

My experience growing up in Columbus and attending art workshops at CMoA is what drew me to this internship. These art programs gave me an outlet for my creativity as a kid, and I knew I wanted to do the same for young members of the Columbus community. During the internship, I worked with the lead teacher to facilitate one to two art projects per day, assisted in museum tours for the kids, watched over all groups during their lunch breaks, and maintained the art supply closet.

How did Denison, or your liberal arts education, prepare you for this summer experience?

Denison and its Studio Art program prepared me for this internship by fostering my ability to pick up new skills using ones I already had. My knowledge of visual arts also helped me teach young kids about the fundamentals of how to view and interpret art. My liberal arts education particularly enabled me to have a broad understanding of people’s experiences which aided my ability to empathize with and foster young minds. 

How did your internship aid in your career exploration?

This internship aided in my career exploration by giving me experience in art education and community-based initiatives within the art museum industry. I was able to work closely with the education department of the CMoA learning what museums do to increase engagement in the arts. 

What advice do you have for people potentially interested in an experience similar to yours?

My advice for people who are interested in this experience or one similar is to be prepared for the unexpected. Working with young kids, in my experience, meant many unpredictable situations that required me to think on my toes and problem-solve.

Aside from your internship, are there other tools, resources or programs that have supported your career exploration?

The best resources so far in my career exploration have been the faculty within the Studio Art program at Denison. All my professors have been very willing and eager to lend a helping hand and answer all my art career questions!

By Fiona Schultz
Fiona Schultz Peer Career Coach and Peer Fellow: Nonprofit, Education and Government Career Community