Smashing my way into the art world: my summer at CFG

Smashing my way into the art world: my summer at CFG

I was nervous at first. Is that unprofessional to admit? As somebody with little formal education in art history or museum practices and even less experience navigating “the art world,” jumping into my summer internship at the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery (CFG) seemed like a daunting task. Moreover, as the only CFG student worker for the summer, I was essentially going to be doubling as personal assistant to my boss and Associate Director of the gallery, Matthew Callinan, and I was nervous that my lack of art-related credentials would show. As I entered the summer, I constantly felt a strange urge to brush up on my Cezanne and Richter so I could rattle off facts in defense if anyone called me out on being an imposter, or dye my hair green and get a nose ring so that nobody would question me at all. As it turns out, my fear of being an outsider to the snobbery of the art world disappeared as Matthew and I ended up discussing the genius and complexities of Kanye West and debating sandwich superiority just as much as we discussed the exhibitions we were working on. Matthew himself is a very down-to-earth person, and working closely with him over the summer has shown me the breadth of down-to-earth work that needs to be done at the gallery. While people often only consider the shiny end product of the show itself, being cc’ed on almost every email Matthew sent introduced me to the less glamorous world of scheduled Skype calls and loan agreement forms that comes with every exhibition. In putting together CFG’s profile on...