Professor giving a lecture to students in old main

Building a portfolio of experience

Internships with the Johnson Collection help art history majors prepare for life after Wofford

TJC 382
2016-12-14

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Two Wofford College students are advancing their careers in the arts with help from the Johnson Collection (TJC) in downtown Spartanburg. Jordan Wiseman is a marketing intern. Reagan Petty is improving her curatorial skills.

At the beginning of each academic year, TJC offers top seniors at Wofford the opportunity to apply for a competitive, comprehensive internship experience. This year, however, the collection made an exception and offered two internships to members of the Wofford Class of 2017.

“My Wofford art history professor, Dr. Karen Goodchild, knows that I aspire to work in arts marketing, and she reached out to the Johnson Collection on my behalf,” says Wiseman, an art history major from Parkersburg, W.Va. “Following a Skype interview during my spring semester in Rome, the Johnson Collection graciously offered to take me on as their first-ever public relations intern.”

Wiseman particularly loved her work promoting events and increasing interest through social media, but she says she also has enjoyed discovering how to conduct market research, track analytics and write marketing copy. She plans to enter a master’s program in arts administration or museum studies after she graduates in preparation to begin her career in either the marketing or development department of an art museum.

“Ultimately, I aspire to become the executive director of a renowned art museum,” Wiseman says.

During her internship, Petty, an art history major from Franklin, Tenn., has researched art, written object labels and worked on the content and layout of exhibitions. Her internship allowed her the opportunity to help with the display of several shows, including Leo Twiggs’ provocative and moving “Requiem for Mother Emanuel” exhibition.

“In the future, I would love to curate at a contemporary art museum,” she says. “I am also interested in studying race and politics in contemporary American art, and would like to remain involved in academia to teach and continue researching these subjects.”

The Art on Tap event held in November provided an ideal opportunity for Wiseman and Petty to show off their skills. In its fourth year, Art on Tap is a collaborative effort of TJC and RJ Rockers Brewing Co. celebrating Southern art and good beer. This year’s theme was “Southern Roots: Selections of Self-Taught Art.”

by Omar K. Elmore, Wofford Class of 2019