Erin Palumbo. Through the Looking Glass. Grade 10, Age 16. 2012 Silver Medal, Drawing.

Artist and three-time Gold Key winner Erin Palumbo, a rising junior at George W. Hewlett High School in Hewlett, NY, figured that if she wanted an arts-related internship this summer, she’d have to start by connecting the dots. So…Erin thought carefully about her connections: she’d earned an ASAP Award in 2010, two Gold Keys in 2011, and a Silver Medal in 2012. Why not start there?

Erin contacted the Alliance, and explained that she wanted to do an unpaid internship in an art-related field, and included the dates she would be available. She also put together a good resume and attached it to her email so we could easily send it along.

We put her in touch with Amanda Guest, an accomplished artist in her own right  and Student Art Program Coordinator at ArtsConnection. This nonprofit organization, created through a partnership between the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York City Youth Bureau, and the New York City Board of Education, is preparing for one of its six annual student art exhibitions this summer—and it turned out that Amanda could really use Erin’s help!

Erin reports that she is very busy: “I just finished editing photos of NYC student artwork that will be showcased later this year and took all of the art to the framers,” she reports. “It’s very interesting to learn about how a show is put together…it takes a lot of work!”

Amanda finds that she is enjoying getting to know Erin, who is just beginning to think about assembling a portfolio and applying to art school.

“I find myself thinking of ways I can show her more about the program,” says Amanda. “I appreciate the enthusiasm she brings to this work and especially her commitment to developing her own artwork.” Amanda is hoping to review Erin’s portfolio with her at some point.

“I think back to what it was like for me, when I was thinking about art school,” Amanda reflects. “This internship allows me to offer Erin the kind of help that I would have liked as a teen artist.”

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