Friday, June 29, 2012

An intern's take on The Arts Center

Hello, my name is Matthew Cassidy.

I guess I could be considered a “guest blogger,” though I feel that the term doesn’t exactly fit. As an intern at The Arts Center, I am here working for college credits toward my degree program at The Sage College of Albany. I should state that I am not only a Business Administration student, but also an artist-of-sorts and someone who has a deep love of the arts. I am here at The Arts Center not only because I need to complete an internship to get my degree - I am also here because I cannot imagine a better place to do it. Balancing the artist and the student is often difficult, as I often just really want to wander through The Arts Center - looking at and making art.

A perfect example of this conflict is occurring at this very moment . . . as I am composing this blog post while sitting at a very temporary, and mobile, computer workstation placed in a corner of The Arts Center’s main gallery. The main gallery, if you didnt already know, is practically brimming over with artwork for the Fence Salon, and I am finding the urge to get up and just go look at some of the pieces on display incredibly distracting. I try to focus on the phrase “career relevant experience” as my eyes wander from the computer screen to a painting of what appears to be a dark staircase, but there is something else I can’t quite see . . . if only I was closer . . .

I begin to wonder if the staff here at The Arts Center is as easily distracted as I am, but then I am reminded of just how much they all do, and can’t really imagine that they have time to be distracted. You see, the administrative staff at The Arts Center is small - really small. It was actually one of the first things I was struck by when I began my internship. As The Arts Center does so much, I imagined that the staff would be far larger than it is. The business culture at The Arts Center is far different than the culture I, and imagine the majority of you, are accustomed to. There is a powerful “do-it-yourself” spirit that permeates every inch of the culture here and it energizes the people in it, who are happy and excited to be at work and to tackle difficult projects. I cannot really express how refreshing it is to see managers and directors moving furniture, on ladders, and performing a variety of other “menial” tasks that managers and directors at other organizations would quickly assign to their subordinates while they sit in their offices, sipping their coffee.

The business culture here at The Arts Center is also one of cooperation. I don’t believe I am contradicting myself when I say that the culture has both a DIY spirit and is also cooperative. I believe DIY implies more than just completing a task alone, I believe it is when an amateur, or amateurs, decides to get their hands dirty instead of hiring a professional to do it for them. Which is what usually happens here at The Arts Center, no problem or project rests solely on the shoulders of one staff member - it is handled as a team.

. . . it’s a horse on the other side of that dark staircase, with another form that looks a bit like a mushroom cloud, it evokes the idea of scenes from three films of different genres juxtaposed . . . I couldn’t resist, I had to take a closer look. I encourage you to come take a look too, I very well could have missed something.

I think I will wrap up my first post to Troy Art Beat here, and see what kind of response it generates. I’d like to write more for the blog in the future, so please feel free to leave comments!

Matthew Cassidy is an intern at The Arts Center of the Capital Region.


  1. Great post! I took a few art classes at The Arts Center years ago so I already had a love for it. But it is great to hear about the culture of The Arts Center and it makes me love the place even more! I'd love to see more posts by Matthew Cassidy!

    1. My interest has been peaked after reading this article Matthew! Thank you for giving us a taste of some of the gems found at The Arts Center in Troy. I can’t wait to check out the classes and exhibits. The web site shows many different offerings, from painting and pottery to dance, theater arts and much more. Very nice! Thank you again!