For the past 30 years, the renowned Getty Foundation has funded coveted full-time summer intern positions for college students in the fine arts, and this past summer, LMU junior studio arts major Ese Ovbagbedia was selected as part of a competitive process to participate in the experience at Getty Villa Museum in Los Angeles.
With an emphasis in painting and minors in theatre arts and animation, Ovbagbedia initially heard about the program during her freshman year from a coworker at the Laband Art Gallery, where she has worked as a gallery assistant for the past two years. Following an informational seminar held by LMU Career and Professional Development, Ovbagbedia was intrigued by the program’s artistic roles and also became curious about working within a museum.
During her time as an intern at the Getty, Ovbagbedia worked with the Public Programs Department. Her overall duty was to assist with the planning and execution of special events, namely The Youth Theatre Summer Intensive and The Annual Outdoor Theater Production. As someone with “an intense love of art”, Ovbagbedia has known since high school that she wanted to pursue a creative career.
During the work week, Ovbagbedia gained experience taking on a number of high-intensity roles. “My week consisted of a day working with kids on their production and preparing the resources they needed before their rehearsal,” Ovbagbedia said. “The rest of my week consisted of production meetings for the outdoor theater production … I worked on event planning for the closing night event, press opening, and other projects in preparation for the actors’ arrival.”
In addition to technical skills relating to event planning and theatrical production, Ovbagbedia also walked away with a newfound sense of direction and clarity for what she hopes to experience in her career moving forward. Having worked primarily as an artist in the past, Ovbagbedia saw the value in being able to experience other roles that help bring a production to the finish line.
A highlight of her internship was an event called “Art Summit” in which external Getty interns placed in locations around Los Angeles County are given the opportunity to connect with each other. “This event involved diverse speakers and discussion opportunities,” Ovbagbedia said. “It was especially valuable for me as I got to connect with a speaker with experience in both the visual and performing arts industry.”
Reflecting back on her time at the Getty, Ovbagbedia expressed her gratitude for a number of aspects of the internship, particularly being able to forge beneficial connections and share conversations that her insight into potential careers. Although her summer internship has drawn to a close, Ovbagbedia will continue to explore her interest in the arts at LMU, and speaks highly of the multi-disciplinary opportunities she’s had on campus. “Through LMU I discovered a way to perfectly combine my passion for both visual and performing arts, and now I can see a path to integrating the two as a career option.”