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Plant Power: Meet the New Andersen Sculpture Garden Interns

Posted on April 16, 2018 at 9:00 AM by Nancy Gebhart

Interview with Emily Stearney, Public Relations Intern, University Museums


Joining the University Museums team this summer will be Breanna Van Meeteren and Amelia Drake! Made possible by the generous donation of Richard Taylor, these two horticulture students will be responsible for beautifying the Elizabeth and Byron Andersen Sculpture Garden through the power of plants and landscape design. Breanna, a senior in horticulture, will be responsible for planning the layout of the garden. Amelia, a senior in horticulture, will be responsible for the care and maintenance of the garden.

About the Elizabeth and Byron Andersen Sculpture Garden

The Elizabeth and Byron Anderson Sculpture Garden wraps around historic Morrill Hall. Shaded by flowering greenery, winding footpaths lined with perennials and shrubs take visitors through works of primarily American twentieth and twenty-first century sculpture. Ranging in size and material, this collection of artwork represents the diverse character of modern and contemporary sculpture in a natural, accessible setting.


Breanna Van Meeteren, Senior in Horticulture – Public Horticulture Option

Amelia Drake, Senior in Horticulture – Food Crop Production and Management Option


How did you first become interested in horticulture?

BVM: My dream growing up was to own a flower shop. I started out in the school of business, but then switched to horticulture; I liked to garden with my parents growing up, and I love that growing plants is something I could do on my own.

AD: I’m very passionate about food and personal sustainability, and I really appreciate when people are able to grow their own food. I spent a lot of my live living along the West Coast, and I had access to a lot of great food there. But, not everyone has access to food, with food desserts in cities and even in rural areas. People like to live in an environment where fresh food exists, and I want to be part of that solution.


What aspect of your internship are you most excited for?

BVM: I want to challenge myself-- I’m a busy student, and I have a job already, so taking on a project would be a more real-world situation, and I wanted to see if I could do it. I wanted to get more of a real-world perspective with this project!

AD: I want to make [the Andersen Sculpture Garden] exciting and engaging – a place where people can not only view the artwork, but where they’ll want to interact with it, take photos with it, and share the space with others. If I can contribute to other’s desire to enjoy public art, then I’ve done something good.




What are your career goals?

BVM: I’m the public horticulture option within the horticulture major, so I’m really interested in art and design. When I came to college, I got really into art, and I’ve taken classes in horticulture design – I love plants and I love design, so I put them together. I’m hoping to get a job in landscape design after graduation.

AD: I’d love to open an agritourism business. I like the idea of owning a small farm in Iowa with a venue for music and a space for creating art, and having people come and enjoy that space.


What clubs or activities are you involved in outside of class?

BVM: I currently work at Reiman Gardens, and prior to that, I was an intern for the Better Homes and Gardens test garden with Meredith Corporation Des Moines!

AD: I am part of the Sustainable Agriculture Association. Students in the club have a food garden where they grow food and then donate it to a pantry, and I try to help out with that whenever I can. I’ve also worked on a research farm for the Department of Horticulture.

Welcome to the University Museums team, Breanna and Amelia!

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