THE OHIO ART CONSERVATION CENTER: As a part of our obligation to provide art conservation education we welcome applications from students for art conservation educational internships here, both for full year experiences and summer experiences.
In the academic year 2012-2013 we supported Christina Simms’ second year graduate school art conservation internship. At the time, Christina was completing her graduate work in art conservation at Buffalo State, the State University of New York at Buffalo. Internships at an art conservation facility or activity is a requirement for the degree.
Since Christina had a career focus in objects and sculpture conservation, she applied to McKay Lodge Art Conservation Laboratory Inc. to acquire the real-life, hands-on experience that is an important part of becoming a successful conservator.
To our surprise, after Christina started her internship we learned that she and her family lives on a farm only a few miles away from our facility. During her art conservation internship, Christina worked principally with our sculpture conservators Thomas Podnar and James Gwinner, and also with our stone and masonry materials conservator Marcin Pikus, on numerous and diverse projects, mostly on challenging issues with sculpture in outdoor environments.
She worked with Robert Lodge learning about industrial coatings materials, surface preparation processes and coatings application processes. Related to these she participated in the very challenging and large scale recoating of Alexander Calder’s FLAMINGO in Chicago. She worked as well with our skilled sculpture and objects conservation assistants Dee Pipik, Curtis McCartney and Emmett Lodge, from whom she absorbed some basics in the broad range of fine hand workmanship, shop work and rigging, and the variety and use of heavy equipment.
Christina even participated in, and excelled in, our company’s women’s self-defense class – learning how and where to kick and gouge; and how to drop, roll and spray pepper.
Her art conservation internship gave her exceptional exposure to our work with the more monumental kinds of objects, especially metals and coatings. She learned a great deal and was an eager student, pursuing self-improvement information beyond our suggestions or recommendations. She clearly showed that she is a very intelligent person, very perceptive, resourceful and a very hard worker. Faced with scale, complexities, new materials of modern art, she was undaunted.
She also participated in a variety of treatments and problems of a more delicate nature during her internship. In these activities, she showed exceptional hand skills and thoughtful judgment. While she indicated an interest in developing the knowledge and skills to deal with the monumental and industrial objects, she clearly wishes to excel with a full range of items and materials of every kind and scale.
In every respect mentioned above in the list of attributes, we all felt Christina was exceptional.
In her own words Christina describes her time at McKay Lodge Conservation Laboratory as “some of the best and most knowledgeable individuals I’ve ever worked with- it was a truly special opportunity”.
Christina followed her internship at McKay Lodge Art Conservation Laboratory, Inc. with a third-year internship at the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Decorative Arts and Sculpture conservation department. She is currently a graduate intern at the J. Paul Getty Museum.