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Makayla Davis, Intern, Public and University Programs
Mar 05, 2020
Public and University Programs intern Makayla Davis spoke to other Wex interns about what it’s like to work within an extraordinary team advancing contemporary art on campus, in Columbus, and beyond. Here's a look into what life is like for two of our 2019–20 university interns.
Applications for 2020–21 Wex internship positions are open until March 9.
Makayla Davis is a third-year undergraduate student at Ohio State studying Landscape Architecture in the Knowlton School with a minor in African American and African Studies. She is involved on campus as an ambassador for the School of Architecture, the event coordinator for the school’s nationwide service group SERVitecture, the secretary of Ohio State’s Student Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects, and she is a Land Grant Opportunity Scholarship recipient.
Wexner Center intern Dejiahj Archie-Davis stands alongside the installation of LaToya Ruby Frazier's The Last Cruze.
What projects or events are you looking forward to as an intern in the Development Department?
I would love to be a part of any more volunteer opportunities. I’m not sure if there [are] any with LaToya Ruby Frazier, but I would love to volunteer for her… if there’s an opportunity to work with an artist, I want to do so. I helped with Ann Hamilton’s show, with folding the [prints]... which was really cool… Doing those things, it allows me to bring more awareness to people outside of the Wex... I feel like as I get more and more involved, I can also tell people about [events] and bring them to the space.
What do you enjoy most about your internship?
I like being behind the scenes. I like being able to see what... brings the Wex together. Being in Development, I can really see the amount of time and effort that everyone puts [in]. I really get to see how everything is really put well together...
What is a day at work like for you?
I go in [and] I sit in my cubicle. That’s like one of my favorite parts too, just having your own space makes you feel really, really important … Coming in, saying hello to everyone, seeing that everyone’s focused and [that] everyone has a set agenda for the day, It …gives me a little taste [of] what it would actually be like if I [were] to… further work at the Wex or if I did anything else with Development…
What’s your favorite space within the Wex?
I would honestly say it’s the gallery space. I’ve never seen a gallery space divided the way that it is here. I think it’s super cool—going upward but also going down at the same time ... But the bookstore also I really enjoy… It’s very easy to find books. I know some stores are overwhelming, but the bookstore is just … very organized. And I love that [the books] are all associated with artists that have shown in the past …
Do you have any hidden talents or passions?
I always wanted to be a writer! My writing is very, very personal, so that is hidden about me … I’m an observer, I would like to say... I’m kind of like a scrapbooker in a way. Every now and then, [I like to] look back on the things that I’ve learned and the things that I’ve experienced to ... see if I got anywhere in my life, as far as progression and growth. By having that type of resource, it brings me back to who I am, and I feel more comfortable about moving forward.
What TV or movie character do you most relate to?
I will say Troy from [Spike Lee's] Crooklyn … It... portrays the struggles of a black family. I feel like I can relate to that a lot because I grew up on that movie, and I continued to watch it when I got older... So for me it’s like... a reflection. It’s a deep connection. I really feel like Troy…
Wexner Center intern Kat Arndt stands among traditional architectural columns.
I really love the people that I work with—especially Karen Simonian!—and it’s a great office to work in. Compared to some of the other offices that I’ve been in, this environment is much different and more productive.
So I come in in the mornings… there [are] emails from people [that] I have to respond to... I write a lot of... support documents based on impact... I’m working with the way we talk about the impact of the Wex, looking at the data that we have collected from different programs... and then turning that into a comprehensive grant package.…
As part of my internship … there’s [an] option to do a capstone ... What began as an investigation of public art pivoted... into an access piece … about financial and cultural accessibility. We’re looking at ways that we can get more people into this institution.
I like to call myself a secret entomologist. As a child, I always loved digging around in the garden looking for bugs. That interest expanded in high school ... when I competed in science competitions about categorization of the natural world. Now, I’m in a class on social insects (maybe working towards a minor) and exploring a slightly comedic phrase: intersectional applied entomology. I’m currently making a book that compares ant and human societies... [and it’s] something that I channel in my work.
Those On Pause sessions, when they’re in the gallery, embedded in it, and you’re just sitting there and taking it in. I went to one that was in the [gallery with] Jenny Holzer's Truisms, and that was just incredible. And I don’t really spend a lot of time in one specific place because I’m always moving. But to be there for [an] hour and just exist in the space was great.
Well my favorite movie is Amelie, and I really love that she is so dedicated to introducing love into the world. And I wanna say I relate to that, but I feel like… if I found a box in my bathroom, I don’t know if I’d hunt down the owner. There seems to be a lot of serendipitous fate going on in the background. Fate might not be on my side in that way, but I love the idea of spreading a humanist passion for something.