First, I witnessed First Lady Michelle Obama in all of her glory on a fine Saturday during Art Making in the Galleries. This was in the same week when she gave her epic speech noting, “when they go low, we go high.” Words that can be reinterpreted in a variety of anecdotal phrases but meant something more in a time when the negative call-and-response of politics and media is unending. My admiration of her has grown in recent years as I start to realize that I too can be as successful, as educated, as composed, as strong, and as woke as she is. This moment for me is why #representationmatters because the role model she is to me is the role model she is to people around the world. When people see me I want them to also relate me to someone like her. I have a very long way to go though.
The final days have been somber even within the excitement of Pop-Ups and final tours. This internship has been everything to me. Seeing Michelle really solidified the feeling that I was supposed to be here. I am in a very good place in my life and I don’t want anything to end. I did not want to leave Indonesia. I do not want to leave the Art Institue. I definitely do not want this to be my final year at the University of Michigan. I have a way of investing my heart in the places in which I have grown as a person and it is hard to break such an attachment.
The only sobering part is knowing that I have the rest of my life to feel this joyed and this fulfilled. At only a nearly 21 years of life completed I have a lot of time to right my many wrongs and find joy and purpose in the path I take in life. These short 8 weeks at the museum have been the greatest “work” experience of my life because not once did it feel like work. I entered the docent room excited to see Hunter, Rachael, Sammie, Amanda, America, Casey, and Ben. Knowing we were there to help each other in anyway we could. Then emerging from the basement excited to see windows and making my way to see Tamika before a tour began. Even through the most trying moments I was smiling because of the joy I possessed in each of those moments. So much of it would not have been possible without my people and by the end my people felt like whoever I encountered on any given day.
Art is never fully finished. Many artists create because they seek to share the most intimate part of themselves with the world. Leaving it open to critique but with the hope that it will do for someone else what it has done for them. This kind of therapy is excruciating for its public nature but enamoring for its resonance through time. So much of my work is done not only for my own self-fulfillment but for what resolve or interest it may bring to someone else. Art reminds me that our lives aren’t only lived for ourselves but for the good it could possibly bring those that come after. There is consistency in the human spirit and experience over time.
I’ll be back.