Interview with AFA Development Intern, Amanda Hill.
What interested you in becoming an intern at AFA? How did you get involved?
AH: Throughout most of my adult life, my passions have always focused on my dedication to promoting the accessibility of the arts. This passion not only originates from my own art making practices but from my experience with the organization, Tape Art. With Tape Art, I facilitated numerous art projects including the construction of life-sized tape murals. Typically we drew in schools and hospitals to foster education as well as healing. While working with underprivileged teens, in conjunction with Tape Art, I witnessed the transformative and positive effects art-making had on the youth that participated. I watched how these teenagers began to work in tandem, solve problems, and learn about their work habits. This was a turning point for me, as I decided that I wanted to pursue increasing the awareness and the accessibility of the arts.
These passions are what drew me to AFA! Since September, I have volunteered on AFA’s Fundraising Committee. The Committee has been fabulous, but I wanted to be more involved. Anna and I thought that a managerial and development internship would be a fabulous fit for both the organization and myself!
What’s your own artistic background? Are you currently an artist?
AH: I have been practicing art since I can remember. We have a family joke about a painting I did when I was three. My grandmother fell in love with it, so we framed it and gave it to her for a present. A friend of hers saw it and exclaimed, “Oh my, you have a Motherwell!” My grandmother didn’t have the heart to tell her friend that it was her three old granddaughter’s finger painting.
During high school, I was lucky enough to attend a couple of pre-college programs and classes to widen my interests. I also did a fair bit of set design as well as painting and drawing in high school. When I went to college, it was a very difficult decision to either just stick with art and go to RISD or go the liberal arts route at Smith College. I went with the liberal arts route and have been relatively happy with my choice.
At Smith, I concentrated in painting but also created large-scale installations, films, and photography. Upon graduating in 2010, I was able to continue producing my own artwork and also took on a few other artistic endeavors as well. I developed and produced a free town-wide drawing festival in Northampton, MA and designed and built a 300 square foot performance art space on a CSA farm in Amherst, MA.
Ultimately, I tend to fall in and out of making work. My last show was in January/February of 2013. Since I just moved to the city in June of 2013, I am still trying to figure out how to make work on the scale that I would like to practice without completely destroying my apartment or my health. J
You can check out my work here: www.abhill.com
You’re currently in graduate school. What are you studying? What are your plans for after you graduate?
AH: I am currently in enrolled at the New School. I am studying nonprofit management and hope to concentrate in Community Activism and Engagement. After I graduate, I would love to stick around New York City. Either administratively or out in the field, my dreams and plans while in school and after I graduate revolve around community engagement. I hope to become an entity that can empower a community through collaborative art-making.
What do you hope to gain from your internship at AFA? What are you most excited to work on while you are here?
I hope to learn more about the inner workings of AFA. I am most excited to visit the classes and meet some of the students who have been able to partake in our programs. I also looking forward to meeting more of our teaching artists and perhaps even learning a few tricks of the trade!
What’s your favorite art form? Do you have a favorite artist or piece of art?
AH: As I am sure most people say, a favorite piece of work is so hard to pick! Most recently a good friend turned me on to the sheer beauty, immensity, and detailed nuances of Géricault’s Raft of Medusa. So for now, I’ll say that that is one of my favorite pieces. I have also been visiting the MET a lot and was completely blown away by the Arms and Amory section.
Some of my favorite painters are Cecily Brown, Dana Schutz, and Antonio Garcia Lopez.