March 09, 2017
Multiple internships feed Biomedical Art grad's professional development
Marcella Verchio discovered something about herself as a freshman interested in animation at Laguna College of Art and Design in California.
“My teachers always pushed finding our own style and subject matter, but I wanted to create for other people, not just me,” she says. “I searched for an art field that was based on creating for others, and when looking back at the schools in my home state, I looked at biomedical art at CIA.”
So Verchio transferred to CIA and earned her BFA in Biomedical Art in December 2016. She also earned a lot of internship experience, logging experience at the Cleveland Clinic and the Cleveland Museum of Art.
She started working as an intern at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History in June 2016, then stayed through fall semester and beyond, tackling projects with the team in the exhibitions department.
From the start, it was a great fit, in part because of her longheld interest in science and nature.
“I remember in my first two weeks being so astonished by how similar everyone was to me at the museum, and how well I fit it,” Verchio says. “Everyone there cares deeply about education, science, the environment, animals, and so on. I remember one morning walking up the security desk and even they were watching a documentary on black holes. It's a great atmosphere.”
The projects and tasks were wide reaching.
“Some days I would brand planetarium shows, some projects involved installing vinyl [lettering] and mounting signs that are child-proof and won't be destroyed by curious hands,” she says. “Other days, I would help put together dinosaur models multiple times larger than me, and install artifacts millions of years old.”
Her largest project was redesigning more than 300 labels in Kirtland Hall, which houses some of the museum’s most notable artifacts. Information, design and illustrations all had to be fresh.
The job brought moments of fun. Verchio recalls trying to place a head on a life-size model of a baby brontosaurs. “That was a real struggle, and it took three of us to wiggle it on while laughing hard at how absurd we looked to the museumgoers passing by.”
She also got to feed a wallaby at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo while doing an exhibit tour with the CMNH team.
“My dream job is being able to create impactful artwork that will educate and inspire others,” Verchio says. “Ideally, this would be in a museum where not only am I learning more through my projects, but also giving others the most important tool they can have, which is knowledge.”
This summer, Verchio will intern at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in their exhibit department. “Hopefully, my dream job won't be too far off.”
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