Chinati Foundation in Marfa is Accepting Applications for 2023 Paid Internships

by Jessica Fuentes September 18, 2022

The Chinati Foundation, an art museum in Marfa, Texas founded by the artist Donald Judd, recently announced that it is accepting internships applications for the coming year.

The Foundation hosts spring and fall internships in the areas of conservation, development, and education. Each internship lasts five-to-six months (Spring: February to July; Fall: September to January), during which interns work approximately 40 hours per week and are compensated $15 per hour. Interns additionally receive medical benefits and free housing. 

While internships are open to all, Chinati writes in the positions’ postings that they are primarily intended for individuals from racial and cultural backgrounds that have been historically underrepresented in the arts, including individuals who identify as Black, African American, Asian, Middle Eastern/North African, Native American, Latine/Hispanic, and Pacific Islander. Additionally, DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival) recipients are eligible to apply. Applicants are not required to have work or educational experience in the arts.

Applications are due on November 15, 2022. Learn about the three internships available below, via descriptions provided from Chinati. Click the links to read more and to apply.

A photograph of an intern seated on the ground and cleaning a metal cylinder artwork.

Christopher Gonzales, a past Chinati Conservation Intern. Image courtesy the Chinati Foundation.

Conservation Internship

The art conservation internship is a learning position that allows an intern to work directly with Chinati’s conservation department staff. This internship introduces participants to conservation ethics and practices. With this objective at the forefront, internship tasks may include generating written and photographic documentation, preparing condition reports, conducting collection surveys, performing preventive and interventive conservation treatments, and assisting with temporary exhibitions. Interns may also be involved in decision-making and research.

The intern will be trained to handle collections objects and visually inspect objects and images. On occasion, this role can be physically active, and the conservation intern must be comfortable with: climbing ladders & scaffolding; bending, stooping, kneeling, and/or working on a lift; lifting up to 40 lbs. unassisted, and up to 75 lbs. with the assistance of others; using tools such as a pallet jack; and working in varying light conditions, very cold and very high heat, and outdoors in all weather conditions.

As an immersive internship, the Conservation intern will learn about the collection and in turn will be able to lead public museum tours and occasionally assist with special events and other initiatives that support the art and vision of Chinati. Interns live and work amid the permanent collection and are provided valuable resources and training toward future endeavors in a museum or cultural heritage environment.

A photograph of an intern teaching a workshop to a room full of young students.

Chinati Education Interns. Image courtesy the Chinati Foundation.

Education Internship

Under the supervision of the Education Manager, education interns assist education staff with school and adult programs, public tours of the collection, special events, and other initiatives that support the art and vision of Chinati.

Interns live and work amid the permanent collection and are provided with valuable resources and training toward future endeavors in arts education and public programs. Participants gain direct experience in: teaching concepts of art and art making to pre-k through 12th-grade student groups; preparing educational materials for youth and adult programs; writing curriculum; guiding field trips; working with local educators; and carrying out general office duties.

In addition, education interns are exposed to a variety of studio practices such as screen printing, pinhole photography, concrete and plaster casting, graphic design, and more. The education internship does involve a degree of physical labor, assisting education staff in cleaning studio spaces, moving and organizing art materials, and setting up for special events. Such work is occasionally carried out in cold weather or very high heat.

A photograph of an intern in an office with three other people The group prepares membership bags.

Chinati Development Interns. Image courtesy the Chinati Foundation.

Development Internship

The Chinati development intern:

– Manages the membership program, including producing solicitation and renewal letters, membership cards and materials, acknowledgement letters, and weekly reports.
– Manages outreach campaigns with the communications department.
– Supports the Database Manager in filing donor records.
– Supports the Director of Development in prospect research for operational and capital campaign support, small private donor‐driven events, and trustee meetings.
– Supports the development team on donor strategies to cultivate and solicit prospects/donors.
– Plans and implements donor meetings, trips, and prioritizes senior staff’s time with donors.
– Works with the development team on direct mailings including Community Day and Chinati Weekend sponsorship requests, Annual Appeal Campaign, Director’s Letter, and Newsletter mailings.
– Receives docent training with opportunities to lead museum visitors through the collection including special sunrise and sunset viewings. Works all special events from small open studios to the benefit program during Chinati Weekend.

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