North Shore Intern Spotlight: Rita Hirami

July 10, 2015 By vincent-uribe

Currently a student at Northwestern University, Rita Hirami is studying Sociology and Linguistics. She is serving as an Artist Mentor Intern at the North Shore studio this summer and with her kind, understanding demeanor has swiftly become an asset to the studio.  Last week, she sat down with North Shore artist Russell Copenharve so that we could learn a little more about her. Russell Copenharve: What’s your name?Rita Hirami: My name is Rita HiramiRC: How did you hear about The Arts of Life?RH: I go to Northwestern and they have a website called Career Cat. That is a website where you can look up different jobs and volunteer opportunities. It is called Career Cat because of the Northwestern Mascot. So, I was looking at different jobs and things I could do over the summer when I saw The Arts of Life had a posting there. I wasn’t sure if I was going to apply; so, I looked at the website and decided this looked like a cool place. I like art, I like people, I like volunteering, and it isn’t too far from my house. So, that’s how I choose it. RC: Mhmm, so that’s when you came over?RH: Yes, so I saw the posting, and I said, “this sounds great!”RC: Okay, next one, next question: did you know any of the other artists before you started interning at The Arts of Life?RH: I didn’t know any of the artists, but Nikki gave me a tour and introduced me to everyone.RC: Yeah, I told you, “My name is Russell Copenharve”RH: Mhmm, and now I know you Russell.RC: Okay, next one, this is easy, what do you like about The Arts of Life?RH: Well, I know you like to say that the people are nice and I like all the people and artists too. I think it is a cool environment because it is a nice mix of having fun while getting things done. I like art and think it is a good way of expressing yourself.RC: Okay, this next one is easy, what kind of work do you do when you intern?RH: When I am interning, I help with pod facilitation, each day I am assigned a couple different pods with artists. That means each day I help the artists at these pods with their goals. I also will help with anything else that Rick or Courtney may need. It could be work on the computer, or I will be helping with Health Matters starting next week.RC: This is an easy one, well I don’t know if it is an easy one or a hard one, listen: what do you like most about being an part of the studio?RH: Um–one of things we talked about before–what I like about the studio is the environment and the people. What I like the most is getting to know the people of the studio–the artists–and helping them meet their goals. When you are working with people you feel like your doing good things, right?RC: Okay.RH: Does that make sense?RC: Yeah, it makes sense. Okay, this a good question: are you an artist?RH: Am I an artist?RC: Yeah.RH: I am a little bit. I took a lot of art classes in high school and I really like them. I took a general art class where we did painting, drawing, sewing, and video. After that, I have been doing more 3-D art. I took a ceramics class and a sculpture class. I am better at those, which is interesting for me because not a lot of people do 3-D art here [at the studio]. I mostly do it on my own now, I haven’t taken any college classes in art, but I like to doodle and play around with things when I do different projects.RC: This is a hard question, can you help me read this?RH: Okay, who’s your favorite famous artist?Who is my favorite famous artist. This is very, very stereotypical, do you know what that means? It means it is sort of clichéd–and a lot of people will say it–but I love starry night so I love Vincent Van Gogh. My other favorite artist is Kirsten Hassenfeld. When I was taking a sculpture class we had to make a giant sculpture. I looked at different artists for ideas. [Using Google I came across an] artist who made all these paper sculptures. They were made out of paper but these sculptures looked fancy and very expensive. She made different things with grass and paper and they are these huge sculptures that also look very delicate because they are made out of paper. RC: Okay this is another… what do you when you are not at The Arts of Life?RH: I am a student at Northwestern University. It is my college and I am majoring in Sociology and Linguistics. It is the study of people and the study of language. I am a student mostly, I also have a job at a photography studio where I do sales, greet customers, do office and reception work. I play volleyball once a week, which is fun. I do all sorts of stuff. I read, and doodle like we talked about. That’s all the questions on the list, do you have any other questions for me?RC: What else do you like?RH: Oo, I didn’t say this before, but I love cooking and baking. I make pasta and pesto and cookies.RC: How did I do?RH: You did a great job.RC: Okay, what job did you have before you came here?RH: Last summer I worked full-time at the photo studio and I have decreased my time there to intern here [at The Arts of Life]. I will be here for the rest of the summer. RC: okay.RH: Are we done? RC: Yup, we are done!