Artspace provides internship opportunities for undergrad + graduate students throughout the year. No internship opportunities available at this time.

IMG_1322Meet Aliyah Bonnette | 2019 Summer Arts Intern

Aliyah was one of our 2019 Summer Arts Program Interns. Inspired by her story of how she found her way here and her experience as an Artspace Intern, we asked her to share it with you!

My name is Aliyah Bonnette. I am attending East Carolina University for a BFA in fine arts with a double concentration in painting and textiles. I am a girl that grew up in a big city and moved to a small town in North Carolina during high school. It’s the opposite of a well known story line. Growing up black in a big city is not challenging, but growing up black in a small town in North Carolina is very challenging. I experienced racism for the first time here and it was not easy. However, without the experiences I gained in that small town, I would not have found my voice as an artist and I definitely would not have been interning at Artspace.

The decision to major in art was a blow to my first-generation college parents. They could not grasp the concept of making a living in the art world. I received many slips of paper under my bedroom door listing the top ten paying jobs in America. I responded by taking my parents to Artspace on First Friday and that gave them the opportunity to talk to many different artists about this career path. I especially wanted them to talk to Eric McRay, an artist who has a studio at Artspace. Talking to another black artist about making a living as a black artist was very enlightening for them. We left First Friday that night with my parents warming to the idea of their daughter being an artist and Artspace claiming a special place in my heart.

That night three years ago was the reason I applied for an internship at Artspace. During my interview with [Education + Outreach Manager] Brittany Carlson, Artspace’s determination for an inclusive and diverse community really spoke volumes to me. As the founder and president of the Black Arts Guild at East Carolina University, diversity and inclusivity in artistic places is something that I am extremely passionate about and will continue to fight for as I progress in my career.

This internship has been an amazing learning experience. Working closely with the Artspace staff has sparked an interest in working as an education and program director at a non profit, gallery, or museum. It has been great to learn and connect with the staff who are doing what I aspire to do. Being in an environment where I can talk with working artists about their process and learn from them has helped me significantly in my art making. It has helped me realize to create what makes you happy and the possibilities are endless when it comes to art. Working with kids has been something I’ve always enjoyed, but being able to take a backseat and not always actively assist has made me learn so much about the behind-the-scenes of running an art camp.

Interning at Artspace has changed my outlook on my career in the most positive way. It has made me more excited about the possibilities of working in the art world. I hope that the connections that I have made with the staff and artists here are life long. Thank you Artspace for the opportunity!


Aliyah Bonnette, Don’t Touch My Hair