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Undergraduate Program

Student Profiles

Aislinn Smalling

Aislinn Smalling

I was in Sicily at the Greek Hellenistic site of Morgantina. I spent the first four weeks excavating along with mostly Princeton graduate students in Classics and Art and Archaeology departments, along with some other supervisors and volunteers from a few other universities. The site has been excavated mostly by Princeton and UVA. There were several trenches excavated, and I worked in a trench with either one or two other people. Excavation was the main emphasis, but I also helped the site architect with surveying. That mostly consisted of me holding the rod on the point for him to shoot to get elevations and other important markers, but I learned how to set up the machine and take points as well. Also, on site I washed pottery. Then in the fifth week, I spent half of this week working in the museum. The goal was to digitize the catalogue of finds, so I spent time photographing finds from previous excavations. Finally, the last week I worked with two Italian conservators and helped conserve and clean the finds from our excavation.


In the conservation photos: in the first I am using a q-tip dipped in solution to loosen up the dirt for me to scrape away. Basically, I am cleaning one of the finds. In the other two I am working in a trench. At the time I was using the brush to clean dirt off of one of the features, after we had been troweling. The other person in one of the pictures is Simon a graduate student in the classics department, we were working in that trench together.

Chris Green


This past summer I dove into the non-profit art world of New York City. I was worked at two very different institutions. The first was Art in General, a small non-profit contemporary gallery located right between Tribeca and Chinatown which assists artists with the production and presentation of new work. With no permanent collection, Art in General's focus is on new commissions from exciting contemporary artists and a residency program that works with artists from Eastern Europe. As a Gallery Assistant I was heavily involved in the day-to-day running of the gallery with the small six-person staff and other interns. I did curatorial research, worked for the development office, staffed exhibition openings and fundraising functions, and even set-up the entire office's new computer system. The highlight was without a doubt installing the main exhibition of the summer, AudInt: Dead Record Office, which was an immersive sound installation investigating the use of sound as a weapon. The installation, pitch black and navigable only with a flashlight, involved in part directional speakers mounted on a large derelict shack (the Dead Record Office), a floor covered in vinyl records and traversed by a wooden boardwalk, and a massive speaker which ranged from 100Hz to 20Hz, a frequency so low that the building would shake. The installation had me working hands-on with the artists, learning and understanding their vision for the exhibition, executing what they were looking for, and of course altering in when they changed their minds. I never thought I'd become such a carpenter, and it was only appropriate that in my last couple of days at Art in General I tore down the very exhibition that I had put up when I first arrived.

The second position I held was at the New Museum as Publications Intern for the 2012 Triennial. The big museum dynamic was a huge switch from the always-hands-on experience at Art in General, but just as interesting and satisfying. For the upcoming Triennial exhibition in February of 2012 I was researching non-profit, non-collecting contemporary art spaces around the world. The Triennial will feature a publication which will act as a directory for these international non-profit art space and my research was very eye-opening. It's so easy to become strictly focused on the main art centers of the world, especially when living in one for the summer, but the different traditions of art practice evolving in all corners of the world is fascinating and exciting. From artist villages in Thailand to the first art school for women in Afghanistan, the Western-centric view of traditional art history fails to capture the scope of these developments around the world and made me aware of art worlds I had never considered.

Sarah Kinter

This summer I lived in Rome for two months, working with Princeton alumnus and architect Tom Rankin to help him start and develop his non-profit called Roma Sostenibile. Tom had foreseen the group as a forum for intellectuals, architects, students, and other interested parties both local in Rome and international to discuss issues of sustainability in the city and work towards righting many of the environmental wrongs that plague the Eternal City. My role with Tom included various tasks, from image digitalization to public relations to writing for his blog. This internship was the first time I got to see what it is like to develop a fledgling non-profit organization. Tom and I held many brainstorming sessions about what goals the organization should have, how we should publicize the group and how to encourage similarly-minded people to become involved. I sent many e-mails to various organizations, helped plan events, and drafted plans and organizational structures for how Roma Sostenibile should function moving forward. Tom also gave me the task of writing guest entries for his blog, which allowed me to literally explore and observe the city for days on end. Such a free-form project was challenging but incredibly fun and always stimulating. I got to know Rome in a way that I have never understood a city before, and after having studied so much of the art and architecture that calls Rome its home it was an entirely new learning experience to be able to become intimately familiar with those works on a daily basis. It also gave me the time to sketch, which without Tom’s observational assignments I would never have been able to do.