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Perspective: I am one step closer to a career I will love

Posted on April 20, 2020 at 4:00 PM by Julia Martell

In my internship position I work mainly with the Art on Campus Collection doing condition reporting. Condition reporting is essentially checking on the Art on Campus objects, taking note of the object's condition, and doing maintenance cleaning like dusting. I always carry a "Condition Reporting Kit" with me, which has all the necessities for completing my task -  glass and plexiglass cleaner for cleaning smudges, a duster and a cloth, and a tape measure for collecting dimensions that may be missing from the Museums' database. There are over 2500 objects in the Art on Campus Collection, which includes sculptures, paintings, prints, mosaic tile floors, fountains, and murals. They can be located either inside a building's public spaces or outdoors. 

The first step in the process is to assess the object in front of me, noting if anything is out of place. Is it dusty? Does it have anything spilled or placed on it? Does it have a label with object information? I then note these answers, in addition to any other noticeable issues, and the location. I also note the actions I took in response to the condition, such as dusting or cleaning the protective plexiglass. 

After just a few months, the work I am doing during my internship has helped me learn so much already. I have gained confidence in my ability to do reporting, assess conditions, and talk about the ISU Art on Campus in an effective and meaningful way. I have also learned how to maneuver The Museum System, a collections management database used by the University Museums, where I input my condition reports on every object. 

I have also loved learning even more about the Art on Campus Collection through my various other projects. So much of the art and the artists that create it have fun and interesting stories that not everyone is aware of. Unfortunately, I think many students aren't cognizant of how extensive the collection is and that art can be found in nearly every corner of campus. I have found that once I truly realized how extensive the collection is, I can't help but to see the art all over campus!

I find that being an artist and a Biological Pre-Medical Illustration (BPMI) student helps me to connect with my duties in the internship even more. As I learn more about art in my classes, the more I can bring back to my internship, and vice versa. Being surrounded by the Art on Campus Collection and doing projects with other works of art and artists helps to further fuel my passion for making art of my own. In addition to the art, the internship is also helping me with my pursuits for the future. As a BPMI major there are many avenues I can follow for career choices and medical schooling, including museum work. I have always had a passion for museums throughout my life, so with BPMI leading my education and gaining museum experience in my internship, I am one-step closer to pursuing a career I will love!

~ Julia Martell, Collections intern and sophomore studying Biological Pre-Medical Illustration



TOP: University Museums Intern Julia Martell takes a selfie in front of Mujer Pegada Series No. 1 by Manual Neri.

BOTTOM: (Clockwise from top left):

Condition Reporting Kit with cleaning supples, dusters and a tape measure.

Expand, 2016 by Tom Riefe. Purchased by Reiman Gardens for the Rust Events Plaza with funds provided by Robert and Dorothy Rust. In the Art on Campus Collection, University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa. U2017.373

Detail of Expand, including minor wear and tear, to document the current condition of the object.

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