Woody Internship at the Getty: Week 8

Well, I’m entering the home stretch of my time here at the Getty and honestly, I’m pretty sad about it. The whole experience has been so wonderful- I wish there was a way to teleport from Williamsburg to LA to continue it next year! Anyways, I’ll save the rest of the sappiness for my last post…on to this past week!

Last week was pretty packed in terms of events. Wednesday was calm, with my main duty being the weekly Museum Game Zone, but I did get to chat with the head curator of photographs (which was both lovely and insightful). Thursday, however, was very unique for me. I got to spend the day at the Villa working at a Culinary Workshop inspired by ancient Roman cuisine. Now, I went into this knowing very little about either ancient Roman cuisine or cooking itself, but of course I was open to doing anything asked of me. It ended up being an absolute blast! My main responsibilities involved helping another intern and two volunteers with all of the “dirty work” (washing dishes, throwing away trash, replacing ingredients), but I also got to interact with the small group of about 20 participants and take a tour of the Villa’s special exhibit about Roman bronzes. Best of all, we all got to partake of the feast that resulted from everyone’s hard work. Some of the dishes included a sour cucumber salad, fresh barley bread, homemade cheese, pork-and-spelt stew (my personal favorite), fry bread with honey, and roasted chicken. Everything was delicious and it was a fascinating way to learn more about a culture so far removed from our own. I’ve never seen or attended a culinary workshop before at a museum but if I’d absolutely love to attend another one if I had the opportunity. Too bad I’ll be leaving California soon…the Getty offers several workshops per year, each one based on a different special exhibition.

Participants hard at work at the Culinary Workshop.

Participants hard at work at the Culinary Workshop.

Just a glimpse of the offerings at the end of the workshop.

Just a glimpse of the offerings at the end of the workshop.

Friday came with another edition of Friday Flights, though this one was a little more conventional than the last. Whereas the last program included more performance art, this one was mainly music that culminated in the headliner giving a normal concert on our main stage. For the most part, everything went smoothly. However, one of the artists involved did a couple sound installations, one of which was a long chain with bells attached that laid flat on a section of a (currently unused) fountain. The artist placed small motors near each bell, with the intent that the motor would cause the bell to ring and create an ongoing sound in that area. Unfortunately, the motors had the tendency to move around a lot, and thus were not particularly reliable when it came to hitting the bells. It was too bad that the installation wasn’t totally successful, but that is not a uncommon occurrence in the art world. While we did our best to play around with it and make it work, sometimes you just have to let it go and focus on the elements you can improve. Luckily, the rest of the evening was largely a success, with the headlining band giving a crowd-pleasing performance and another musician delivering a lovely acoustic set. The crowds weren’t huge, but those who did attend seemed to have a good time…and isn’t that the main goal in the end?

To my delight (and my feet’s despair), Saturday was another Saturdays off the 405 – aka another night of LOTS of walking, but also lots of fun moments. Once again, pretty much everything went smoothly; the artists arrived on time, the sound check was great, the crowds were manageable. And crowds there were – it was definitely one of the most well-attended events we’ve had this summer. Fortunately, the music was pretty mellow, so there wasn’t a ton of mosh-pit type activity (which had been a problem back at one of the June concerts). However, there was quite a lot of smoking (cigarettes and otherwise), which kept the security officers very busy throughout the performance. Other than that, the band and DJ both gave great shows. The DJ was so good that we even had some trouble getting people to leave by 9:00 (which is when all of these types of events must end). I’m sad that this was my last Saturdays off the 405 concert, but it was definitely a good note to end on.

I had a couple visitors at Saturdays off the 405! Thanks for coming by, Raquel and Deb!

I had a couple visitors at Saturdays off the 405! Thanks for coming by, Raquel and Deb!

Speaking of notes to end on, that’s it for last week! My next blog is going to be filled with everything from an exhibition opening to a teacher workshop to the first Garden Concert for Kids (in case you haven’t heard enough about concerts yet). Thanks for reading!