Artists interning on and off campus

The myth of the �starving artist,� which was popularized by 19th century artists Vincent Van Gogh and Pablo Picasso living in attics and eating only bread and butter for sustenance, is being debunked by Seton Hill University (SHU) students through their internships where they gain skills in the working world while practicing their craft.
Senior Cherie Menser-Dell, an intern at SHU’s National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education (NCCHE) is learning a lot about confidence and independence, and other possible careers she can do with her creative writing major. To her surprise, her degree doesn’tjust limit her to one vocation.


By Michael Diezmos,
Photo Editor
The myth of the �starving artist,� which was popularized by 19th century artists Vincent Van Gogh and Pablo Picasso living in attics and eating only bread and butter for sustenance, is being debunked by Seton Hill University (SHU) students through their internships where they gain skills in the working world while practicing their craft.
Senior Cherie Menser-Dell, an intern at SHU’s National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education (NCCHE) is learning a lot about confidence and independence, and other possible careers she can do with her creative writing major. To her surprise, her degree doesn’tjust limit her to one vocation.
�I can still write and be the Renaissance woman I wanted to be,� she said.
�Writing is both the means and the end for me,� said Menser-Dell, who is drafting her first semi-autobiographical book about an abused girl.
�I love to write and hopefully someday, I will be able to make enough money to help others achieve what they want to accomplish,� she added.
Menser-Dell manages NCCHE’s on-line site and handles its web contents. She is gaining experience in working with HTML and the Movable Type blogging software.
She said that her biggest struggle �has been using the software specific mark-ups and learning how to build, edit, and structure the templates.�
�I love to work, and the busier I am the better,� said Menser-Dell, who does most of her internship in the convenience of her home. �I stop in the Holocaust Center to work on their computers from time to time, and meet up with my site adviser, Wilda Kaylor once a week. She keeps in touch with me and gives my assignment via e-mail,� said Menser-Dell.
Another SHU student interning at home is junior Lauren Etling. She is an apprentice for Brian McCall, a freelance artist, in his home art studio in Southwest Greensburg.
�I help him complete his freelance sculptures,� said Etling.
Every day at her internship is abnormal according to Etling.
�It’s full of surprises (and at times) it’s difficult having to follow someone else’s artistic visions,� she said.
�He (McCall) works in polystyrene, and it is very difficult to carve. I do help him cover it in various materials,� Etling said.
Besides learning how to operate an independent studio, and manage money doing freelance work, Etling tries to learn as much as she can out in the real art world.
�Everything does not exist on a college campus, or in a museum or gallery,� she said. Menser-Dell agrees with Etling.
�You can only learn so much in a classroom; theories look completely different when they are actually applied (in real life situations),� Menser-Dell said.
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