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Sue Bush
More articles from Sue Bush

Meet The B-HIPs: Sara Gately

By Jen Thomas
02:58PM / Thursday, June 21, 2007

B-HIP intern Sarah Gately will be a MASS MoCA "Kidspace" presence this summer. [Photo by Jen Thomas]
The Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Berkshire Hills Internship program, known as B-HIP, drew 13 college and graduate student interns from around the globe to its summer session of the arts-based Berkshire region internship program. www.iberkshires.com invites our readers to "Meet the B-HIPs" and discover what the program and our region offers to those with a love of the arts.


North Adams - Franklin native Sara Gately loves the Berkshires.

"I'd like to live in the area," said Gately who currently resides in Boston and attends Lesley University. "I hate the city. Western Massachusetts is [like] a completely different state, and I'd like to have access to more rural areas. I don't want to have to get on the subway and become a mindless zombie."

And as part of the Berkshire Hills Internship Program, the 27-year old college student has the opportunity to combine her interest in visual arts with her desire to explore more of the Berkshire region.


As an intern at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Arts' "Kidspace," Gately works on designing curricula and lesson plans for the children who will begin frequenting the art gallery and creative art space beginning July 2. Gately will teach classes based on current exhibitions at the museum to area children on Thursdays, while also working on developing her own hallway exhibition.

Children's Art Exchange

Gately's current project focuses on designing an exhibit for the Iraqi Children's Art Exchange, a project that stemmed from preschool teacher and activist Claudia Lefko's 2001 trip to Iraq to dispense medicine to Iraqi hospitals. Lefko created the project to offset the tragic circumstances of war, giving children the opportunity to express themselves.

The project breaks down cultural barriers by having children in America and Iraq exchange pieces of art.

Gately's responsibilities include working with Lefko to write descriptions of the art and create a photo montage around the children's murals for a July 16 hallway showing.

Gately,who is working toward a master's degree in visual arts education, said she loves working with children.

"I eventually would like to be an art teacher for pre-k through eighth grade, but right now, I'm more interested in the administrative aspect of art," she said.

Gately has very specific plans for the kind of educator she would like to be.

MASS MoCA:"It's So Unique"

"If I do become a teacher, it would be in an alternative school, not a public school," she said. "Art is not funded in public schools, nor appreciated. It's very telling that the majority of art rooms in schools are in the basement."

Gately earned an undergraduate degree from Hampshire College in a self-created visual arts/comparative religion curriculum and said she sees the value in taking a unique approach to life and art.

"I've always been involved in one art or another," said Gately, who writes poetry and loves theater. "I've been wanting to be an intern at Mass MoCA for the last year, but I never had the opportunity. I've never been to a museum like it before - it's so unique."

"Obviously, it's attractive to me as a younger person to see exhibits that are not something you would see somewhere else," she said.

"I Would Rearrange My Whole Life And Move Here..."

Gately has traveled throughout the United States and visited states such as Mississippi and Vermont. She said she wants to use her B-HIP internship as a springboard to additional Berkshire region opportunities.

"I want to get a job here," she said. "I would rearrange my whole life and move here and figure out how to get my final credits from a distance. I just want to do something I enjoy doing for the creative economy in the Berkshires."

Jen Thomas may be reached via e-mail at jthomas@iberkshires.com or at 413-663-3384 ext. 23.
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