Heights High junior is newest Heights Arts intern

Heights High junior Eryn Lawson (l), and Heights High senior Zelda Thayer-Hansen.

Each year, Heights Arts selects one Cleveland Heights High School junior intern, to join a returning senior intern, to work with its volunteer Exhibition Community Team (ECT). The team comprises community members with expertise in the visual arts. They are charged with reviewing artist submissions, connecting Heights Arts with new artists, providing assistance to hang shows, and setting up the annual Heights Arts Holiday Store in November and December.

Heights High art teachers are instrumental in identifying internship candidates. After she applied and interviewed with ECT members, Eryn Lawson was chosen from several candidates to be the 2020–22 intern.

Interns learn to work directly with team members, and to provide their own perspectives and opinions. They are also charged with acting as curators to create an annual student exhibition at the end of the school year, featuring the work of their peers. 

Growing up, Lawson moved throughout the Heights, attending or living near almost all its schools at various points in time. She cherishes the community. Through Heights Arts, she sees an opportunity for a blossoming of artistic growth between younger and older generations. She feels it is important to nourish this growth, to grow it into something much greater, beyond our individual selves.

Said Lawson, “I’m excited to be joining the Heights Arts team! I can’t wait to see what we can all make together!”

Lawson is the fourth intern to join Heights Arts since 2018, when it began its partnership with Heights High. Former interns ShaDonnah Miller and Ava Collyer have moved on to further their education at Cleveland Institute of Art and The Ohio State University, respectively. Miller, who is beginning her sophomore year with a major in drawing, feels that the internship “really introduced me to the art side of Cleveland and got me used to speaking with other artists in a group setting." Collyer, the 2018–20 intern, summed up her two-year internship experience: “Having a more intimate understanding of the business and gallery aspect of art has made me much more thoughtful about the art I make and how I want to continue with this passion. I am incredibly grateful for the time I spent listening to and learning from the Heights Arts community, and I hope the current and future interns enjoy the experience just as much as I did.”

Current senior Zelda Thayer-Hansen will lead the intern duo during this years’ exhibition season. As she began her second intern year in September, she described the impact of the experience so far: “This internship has given me the amazing opportunity to collaborate with professional artists in our community, and has opened my eyes to the breadth of possibilities the art world has to offer. I am excited to continue working with this group for another year, and intend to use the skills I have earned from this program for the rest of my artistic career.

Executive Director Rachel Bernstein described the benefits of the partnership, noting, “This internship has not only been a learning opportunity for our young participants, but a great asset to Heights Arts. It has provided us with a fresh and valuable perspective from a younger demographic which serves to create richer programming reflective of our diverse community. We very much look forward to continuing our partnership with Heights High, and to find additional ways to engage the students.

Amanda Bohn

Amanda Bohn handles marketing and communications at Heights Arts.

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Volume 13, Issue 10, Posted 10:46 AM, 09.29.2020