Maya Greenfield, BFA ’23, On Her Internship at Muskat Studios
Can you start by telling me a little bit about your interests at SMFA and beyond?
At SMFA, I am interested in learning as much as I can about every art practice that I feel drawn to while I have access to these great facilities. I work in painting, printmaking, and fiber arts. Beyond earning my degree, my priority is to keep making as much as I can, no matter what I do in life. I have a million different things I would like to try and my drive to create will be at the center of anything I might pursue - set design, construction, installation, fashion, studio management, and even things like plant cultivation, childcare, and education.
What attracted you to your internship?
I was excited about this internship because I had taken several printmaking classes with Carolyn Muskat during my time at SMFA and had visited her professional shop a few times. I was very eager to see what the daily ins and outs of upkeeping a print shop would look like and to continue learning from Carolyn outside of the classroom.
How did you obtain your internship?
I had learned that Carolyn hosts student internships at her shop relatively regularly, and I have a good relationship with her, so in spring 2021 I asked her about availability, and we worked it out for the fall 2022 semester.
What was a day in the life of your internship?
Daily tasks at the shop were mostly assisting with administrative tasks or preparation for printing projects for artists who work with Carolyn. Sometimes, I would be cleaning and organizing the shop. Other times, I would prepare materials for artists, like tearing paper to the proper size for an edition, graining litho stones, or setting up registration for properly aligning prints with multiple layers. Muskat Studios has a small gallery space in the front of the shop, and I worked on installing and de-installing shows for the artists who make prints there. Sometimes I would be packing prints to mail a completed edition to the artist or checking an in-progress work for consistency.
Tell me about a project you worked on during your internship that was your favorite, the most challenging, or the most exciting.
My favorite thing was always when I got to interact directly with the artists' and Carolyn's work. Helping with paper, the printing process, checking colors and print consistency, organizing, and labeling - I'm always excited to be involved with the artistic process.
What was the best new skill you learned?
We had a couple of days where we were working on restoring a very old offset litho press Carolyn had in the shop. We took it from out-of-commission to functional. It was really cool to learn about it.
How did your studio art skills help you at your internship?
I used my studio art skills every day. Almost all of my tasks were related to printmaking. Those sorts of tasks require a good eye and a lot of care.
How will you translate your work experience to your studies?
Working in a professional production print shop, I learned a lot about efficiency- streamlining and optimizing a repetitive process. Now, I have a much more consistent habit of making my own art process smoother, easier, and more organized for myself.
What was surprising or delightful about your internship?
The most delightful thing about my internship was that the shop is attached to Carolyn's home, and on a day with particularly nice weather we had lunch in her rooftop garden! Moments like that are what really build good relationships and community.
How do you see the next steps in your professional career unfolding?
The next steps in my professional career are probably going to be more hands-on jobs like this one. I would like to start getting into art installation and construction and see where that takes me, as well as keeping my eyes out for not only print shops but any art studios where I could work as an assistant.