Before I started my Summer Internship Program (SIP) sponsored by The Winnipeg Foundation at Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art, I wasn’t familiar with the size and scope of Winnipeg’s contemporary art community or of the impact that Plug In has on our community.
Plug In is a contemporary art gallery and institute that focuses on ideas and issues affecting our society.
It’s a unique organization that celebrates artworks and events in all media, as well as interdisciplinary projects spanning architecture, ﬁlm, television, photography, sound, and new media. Bringing the best of contemporary art to Manitoba, Plug In ICA also shares Manitoba’s unique artistic voice with the world.
On my first day of work there, I toured the various art galleries and spaces, led by my mentor Sheila Spence.
I learned about many of the programs the art institute runs, such as Plug In’s Summer Institute 2015. Architects Nat Chard and Perry Kulper have come together at Plug In ICA as the leading mentors of the Summer Institute and for their feature show, Unreliable Sightings of…, the ﬁrst collaborative exhibition of their work in Canada.
This exhibition of Chard and Kulper’s recent collaborative work speaks to their shared fascinations with architecture. Their combined work challenges the architectural tendencies of predicting how spaces are used.
The art projects completed during the summer institute, which were mainly based on architecture, were presented while I was working at Plug In.
Nat Chard was in attendance to provide feedback on the students’ works.
Some of the art works presented were experimental films, paintings, photography and building designs.
During my internship, I was also tasked with measuring the galleries and creating a 3D model for international artists to use as a planning tool for setting up their art in the gallery.
This assignment had me learning how to use SketchUp which is a 3D modeling tool. I viewed online tutorial videos to teach myself how to efficiently create 3D models using the SketchUp software.
I created a 3D model of the galleries by importing the measurements I collected into SketchUp to ensure the model was accurate. I also worked on a new 3D model of the outside space.
At Plug In, like any job, I also did some fairly mundane tasks, such as helping Theo Sims, a mentor and artist, clean up the workshop and rearrange office space. As well, I did archiving and sorting of various artwork.
All said, my summer internship at Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art was a blast. Not only did I discover what Plug In is all about and the kind of art they present, I also learned a lot about SketchUp, and how to use this kind of 3D modelling tool. This is a great skill to have learned and is one I will definitely be using going forward.
Kane Kirton is one of 15 high school students sponsored by the Winnipeg Foundation this summer to work alongside nonprofit organizations within the city. To read more stories about the 2015 Summer Internship Program, click here.