There is a population of humans, modeled out of clay and installed on the wall–each to its own shelf–in an exhibition space on the second floor of the Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM). “That’s my favorite,” Tatjcha Huberts said, pointing at one figure in artist Kathy Stecko’s “Dreamscape.”
Tatjcha, a Calvin senior art history major, was providing commentary on a few of the artworks already installed at GRAM for ArtPrize, the Grand Rapids-based art contest that has gained national attention.
Tatjcha spent her senior year at Calvin as a GRAM intern, and one of her first jobs there was helping to pick the ArtPrize entries. “We had 1,600 artists apply to GRAM during ArtPrize,” she said. “We’ve had to sort through every one.”
Not all of Tatjcha’s internship involved the big contest. Much of her typical work week was taken up with cataloging art prints from the museum’s extensive collection: checking them for damage and noting how each piece was created. “For fine art prints it’s just imperative to know what the method was for making it: etching, engraving, lithograph, screen print, intaglio, aquatint. There’s so many ways to do things, and artists combine them to create their prints.”
At Calvin, she majored in art history and studied in Spain. She also investigated internship opportunities, and GRAM was at the top of her wish list. “I wanted to work in an art museum in order to make a more informed decision with my life,” she said. After accruing a little museum experience, Tatjcha is ready for more. “I want to be a curator,” she said, “planning and organizing the exhibition and planning the layout and where we put it in the museum.”
She liked interning in downtown GR. “It’s beyond amazing. Growing up in Hudsonville, I’d go to Grand Rapids once in a while but I never got to explore it.”
Tatjcha envisions a career in New York, Washington, D.C., or Chicago. She would love to travel to Japan, maybe do a whole tour of the Pacific Rim.
Adapted from News and Stories, 2010.