Sunday, April 22, 2007

My Final Post

Well, it has definitely been a wonderful experience working at the KIA. I had a wonderful supervisor, Paul who was extremely patient and understanding. I can only hope the we accomplished what he had envisioned for this semester. I will definitely miss the KIA, but will visit it often.

Paul took Laura and I out for a lovely lunch on Friday afternoon. We took a walk downtown in the beautiful spring weather to Sushiya, a new sushi restaurant that just opened. I was our only monetary reward for working this semester, but far from the only reward.

I got to learn a lot about a very different aspect of public relations and marketing- viral marketing. Learning how to use the Internet to your advantage is a very important skill to master. No matter who you are, or what your doing, the Internet is a tool for all of us. I realized that even with two interns working for 14 weeks, that we barely skimmed the surface of what is possible. It's cool that I will be able to see the progress of the future interns because their work will only be a mouse-click away. I'll get to witness the evolution of our MySpace, Facebook and Blog from my computer.

To wrap up my time at the KIA, I will be continuing to pass out fliers to local business, I am researching some possible catering options for Paul and I am reporting to Paul for my last time tomorrow morning.

Its been a great experience; thanks to Laura, Paul and the KIA for all of their help and support!

- Gabi

Monday, April 16, 2007

okay the end is no longer near.

It is here! I'm sitting once again at my favorite spot, the Kalamazoo Public Library, taking advantage of their awesome wireless before I go back to the KIA, talk to Paul about how everything is done, and leave after my very last day.

This internship has been quite excellent, and quite different than what I've been hearing about the very concept of "interning," which usually involves getting the real employees their coffee. Here, I actually felt productive, like I was part of a team doing something important and kinda nifty at the same time. I had a great time meeting the museum folks, working with Paul and Gabi, and even getting to tell people that hey, I work in an art museum. That's awesome.

Waking up at 7 in the morning three days a week? Not so much.

But even that was good for me, if I may continue to be so optimistic. I was not a lazy freshman. I was a proactive freshman! This internship more or less fit the theme of the rest of my year, which is to say that it was something new and different that I decided, why not? and jumped into with (honestly) not a whole lot of idea what it would be like. I like to do that - I'm quite an action (as opposed to thinking) person. I like to get things done, and I love to try new things. Thus I emailed Paul my resume the week he happened to be picking out the interns, and here I am. Or there I was. Now I'm leaving.

Ugh, I need to stop hitting these dreadfully melancholy notes.


That sounds happier, right?

I don't know if I have much to sign off with that I haven't been reiterating throughout this entire experience. I came. I saw. I was somewhat conquered by the awe-inspiring power of the Internet. I worked hard. I had fun. Next semester's interns will be duly filled-in on our projects through a password list. My job is over.

I'm off to the office to meet with Paul now - once last time, ciao!


Sunday, April 15, 2007

A Wonderful Reception

Today, I had the pleasure of capturing the events at the West Michigan Area High School reception. Paul had asked me to attend the event in his absence and video tape some of the event. The KIA staff did a wonderful job hosting the event. There was food, music (provided by my talented friend DJ Eric P) and some of the most talented artwork I'd ever seen from any student exhibit.

I tried to take shots of the students and other vistors enjoying the work, asking if I could stand behind them while they enjoyed a piece. I asked a few students to take me to their artwork and I took pictures of them next to their piece. I tried to get a few shots that Paul could use, but I slightly lost faith in my ability to take pictures!

Near the end of the reception, there was an awards ceremony. Five students received honorable mentions, five received a cash prize while others received scholarships ranging from one free art class at the KIA to $12,000 at the Kendall Art School in Grand Rapids. It was very thrilling to see young artists given the chance to continue their education in a school that will nurture their talents.

I was so glad that I was able to attend the event, seeing all the talented work and help Paul out! Be sure to stop over at the KIA and check out the exhibit.

Friday, April 13, 2007

The End is Near...

Cue my sad face. :(

This has been a pretty uneventful week for myself and Laura as we prepare to pass on our projects to the next set of interns who will take over for the summer. Laura and I gave birth to some beautiful ideas that will hopefully grow and flourish with each semester of new interns. I think we have just begun to skim the surface of all the possibilities in 'viral marketing' or Internet promotions. Our foot is in the door and I am excited for our predecessors to knock it down.

Enough melancholy reflection.

I have finished a few miscellaneous projects for Paul including the ever-evolving YouTube film of Art and All That Jazz. Look for the new and always improved version of The Car As Art clip.

Tomorrow (Saturday, April 14th) I will attend the high school reception for the juried exhibit of local students' works. Paul has asked that I take video footage as well as some still pictures to document the event. My friend, DJ Eric P-Funk will be djing the reception. I am very excited to see the art at the exhibit tomorrow, set to the tune of Eric's turntables. I think it will be a fun event for everyone, especially the talented students. Check back for a few photos in later posts.

Next week is Laura's last week... cue second and final sad face :(. Good luck with finals Laura!


my last post. maybe.

Today is Friday, my second to last day of this internship. Cue sad face:


...and I've been finished/tidying up the last few of our projects, this blog being one. I registered the email address Gabi made ( and am now posting from this. I just sent Gabi an email, so we'll see if this will work for her too. That way, future interns should have no problem upkeeping this blog and detailing their own adventures here at the KIA.

Also, Flickr is done! Yay!
Here it is, folks.
The photos posted here (as of right now) include pics from past Art and All That Jazz events, Art Camp, the Art Fair we host, our West Michigan Area Shows and High School shows, as well as past exhibits, like Chihuly in Kalamazoo (the pic at the top of this entry). Lovely, ain't it? As more events happen in the '07 year, more photos will be added.

Theme of the internship: more to come! Always more to come. I know I've been celebrating "finishing" these projects, really there is no just idea. As the pages are started, they will have to be maintained by future interns, adding more content and keeping them up-to-date. The only conceivable end would be the end of the Internet itself. Hopefully in a fiery inferno, that would be awesome.

But I digress. I leave Monday, and will probably post something along the lines of "this was my internship/this was my Freshman year of college/this is what I learned" except MUCH more interesting than that sounds. Look forward to some more posts from Gabi, as she'll be sticking around a bit longer than I.


Monday, April 9, 2007

i am squinting my eyes very hard

Because my browser window just "unexpectedly" closed and lost the blog entry I was typing up. Sigh.

The semester is almost over, as is this internship. Freshman year has been pretty intense, if I may wax nostalgic for a second. I'm quite proud to say my productivity is at an all time high (especially compared to high school/sleeping in class) and this internship has had a large hand in boosting that.

This blog, unfortunately, has not had the benefit of all that productitivty. That's what happens when you get lots of deadlines for other little projects - the big project with no deadline gets repeatedly...delayed, let's say. Of course, the fact that my co-intern has barely been able to post due to computer difficulties (though it seems like she's been able to get back on board - let's cross our fingers...) does not help matters. This is my main focus before I leave next week. I'm going to go back, add pictures and links and other whatnots, to see if this blog doesn't have a nice, finished (key word!) appearance by the end of it all.

What else am I working on? The Flickr site, which has also been troublesome. These user-networking sites seem so easy when you're just setting it up for your own entertainment, but when you're trying to make it professional and practical at the same time the bumps in the road seem to increase rather exponentially. For instance, I have loaded about 15 pictures onto a KIA-logged page. I made a username, password, and loaded some photos just to get started. I then tagged those photos with various useful tags - KIA, museum, art, etc. But when I now, unlogged, go and search those tags, nothing comes up. This is very frustrating. Very, very frustrating. And now, when I go back to log in, it cannot find my username or password. VERY FRUSTRATING. That's okay, though. Gabi made a intern-specific email address, I will use that to re-register a username/password, and I will reload those 15 photos. I don't want to overload the page, because a free site can only host about 100 photos and I'm hoping this Flickr site will be used in the future. We have lots of photos like the one below (from our West Michigan Area Show 2006) sitting on the volunteer computer, and Flickr could be a great, practical way to put them all somehow where lots of people can see them.

In any case, Flickr will be worked on, and Flickr will be overcome. Darn it.

What else am I working on, besides all this internet-based hoohah? Verifying contact information, yeehaw. There is a big old list of contact info for various media peoples (radio directors, TV producers, newspaper editors) and art scene heavies (deans of art departments, etc) from Michigan that we are planning to invite to our Lorna Simpson opening reception in May. Gabi and I are going through this list and double-checking the contact info for any people Paul marked.

That is sort of it for today. By that I mean I'm going to close this particular browser window and see if I can make any headway with the Flickr page. About a week and a half more of this, then exams, then I'm back home to Ypsilanti for the summer. Let's see how much I can get done.


Thursday, March 29, 2007

Why I hate the Internet; by Gabi Contesti

Well, I really didn't see that one coming! I haven't been able to log on for some time now and I'm not exactly sure why. The Internet has been throwing me some curve balls lately. I like to think of myself as Internet savvy and technically inclined, but lately I've had anything but an easy time with my viral marketing projects.
(If I were trying to study an exam, I'm sure the Internet would work without a glitch, but when it comes to trying to be productive... no dice!)

Since my last blog, a lot has happened. Our MySpace page is up and running (and looking beautiful if I say so myself!). The address is The Facebook club is gaining more members by the day, and my latest project on YouTube has surprisingly already been hit a few times. I edited a video of our Art and All That Jazz event and posted it up on YouTube. The minute and half film is a montage of clips that will hopefully promote the monthly event. The KIA's Art and All That Jazz is a Friday night event that incorporates entertainment, live music, food, drink, and great company while touring the latest KIA exhibit. Last month was a spotlight on the Car as Art exhibit. (

My latest project on the Internet (ugh) has been another difficult challenge. I am currently trying to upload some of the wonderful entries from the Teen Filmmakers Festival onto YouTube without success. I will be sure to blog as soon as they are up, as I will be very ecstatic, and I'd love to promote the students hard work. The films are really excellent!

Finally, I booked a DJ for the 2007 High School Area Show reception. A lesson I've learned quickly in my 'adventures in PR' have been that networking will make your life so much easier. A friend I made at the radio station last semester was Eric P. He is a very talented and skilled DJ who hosts a show on Monday nights. He'll add a great element to the reception and I'm looking forward to having him there. Check back for a link to the uploaded video of the High School show.

I'll check back in with more progress soon!