Gabi Jones pic

After interning at the world-renowned Getty Center this summer, four LMU students shared their work experience as panelists in the most recent KaleidoLA speaker series.

The students all worked in different areas of the Getty and contributed to the preservation and empowerment of historically marginalized artists.

Senior art history major Gabi Jones worked at the Getty Research Institute in the African American Art History Initiative (AAAHI) which expands the Getty’s cultural representation.

“The Getty’s collection has predominately been a very hegemonic collection, and so it's very rare that you’ll find extensive libraries of artists of color. AAAHI works to change that and collect living artists' work so there is a record that goes beyond what is written about already," said Jones.

The majority of her time was spent assisting on the new exhibit “Blondell Cummings: Dance As Moving Pictures.” Cummings was a prominent Black choreographer in the 1970s and 1980s, empowering Black women through her dance style.

“Her work really centered on the experience of Black womanhood and the everyday life and glorifying what was ordinary, and historically her work has been discussed with other people. The exhibit looks to center her own genius within the canon of dance history," said Jones.

Senior art history major Gabrielle Riter was informed about the internship by her academic advisor and then began the long application process, which included three in-person interviews.

Once accepted, she worked specifically at the Getty Conservation Institute's Information Center in a small department called Art and Architecture Technical Abstracts (AATA) Online. She assisted the department in updating their research database to preserve cultural heritage.

“Because I want to become a librarian, gaining experience cataloging, creating bibliographic entries and practicing my research skills was extremely beneficial. I also met and made connections with many other interns with similar interests, as well as going on site visits to the Getty Center and Villa, the Huntington Library and Gardens and the El Pueblo Cultural Site,” said Riter. "I came away from the internship certain that I was in the right field for me.”

Similarly, intern and senior art history and political science double major Jordan White also enjoyed site visits.

“The highlight of my experience was getting to visit a house that I conducted research on,” said White. “I had done research on the area because my great-grandfather used to frequent the area. He is 93 years old and this project helped me connect with him. I am thankful that my supervisors listened to his input and selected a place that had both architectural and personal significance.”

House pic

After researching a house in the same area that his great-grandfather often visited, White got the opportunity to visit the home with his supervisors. 

White worked within the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) on the Los Angeles African American Historic Places initiative which worked with Los Angeles City Planning and the Office of Historic Resources.

“During my 10-week internship, I conducted interviews, field research and online analyses. I created conservation toolkits, conducted research on historical districts, met with project partners and created case studies to analyze previous national conservation efforts,” added White.

The fourth intern, senior studio arts major José Miguel Camacho had a different role from his peers, working specifically with the Teen Programs at the Getty Center. Throughout the summer, Camacho taught a group of 15 high school students how to facilitate virtual art experiences for K-12 classes.

“Whenever I first applied for the program and I saw that description, I just thought to myself, I don’t even know if there are 15 high school students that are interested in art in Los Angeles,” said Camacho. “And then, to see that these high schoolers were just so interested in the topics we were covering and the things that we were talking about, that just made it all the more worthwhile and inspiring for me.”

Camacho’s position was to act as “another voice in the room,” facilitating conversations with the 15 students on how to create a safe space to discuss diverse pieces of art.

Although each intern had a drastically different job, they all had the unique opportunity to work alongside the Getty’s best professionals, advancing the diversity, equity and inclusion of the Getty’s collections.

Hi! I'm Riley Hetherington, a sophomore Communication Studies major from San Diego. I love spending time at the beach, with my family, and reading the Loyolan!

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