Hannah Bernardini, one of the Schmidt’s current student workers and all-around cool cat, was kind enough to answer my questions. See her award-winning piece up now at the SWIC Student Art Show.
1) How long have you been working at the Schmidt?
HB: A little over two years – simultaneously too long to be a student worker at a two year college and not nearly long enough.
2) What is the strangest question you’ve been asked while working at the Schmidt?
HB: Someone once came into the Schmidt for the sole purpose of having his friend record him singing a cappella (we have great acoustics). Then, he asked me if I knew how to play simple chords on the piano so he could have musical accompaniment. I do, but I politely declined, promising to play music with him in the future. It never happened.
3) What is your go-to media?
HB: Soft pastel.
4) You’re put in charge for a week, who do you hire and why?
HB: I’d hire Neil Gaiman because he could tell us stories and, frankly, him being obligated to be in the same room as me would be awesome. But, in all seriousness, I would assemble a team of everyone who’s ever been a part of the Schmidt family, because they are the greatest people I’ve ever worked with, and probably ever will.
5) What has been your favorite exhibition?
HB: Dan Rule, Tammie Rubin, and Terri Shay. No competition.
6) What’s your favorite media to exhibit?
HB: I like installing anything that’s unconventional. Installing a bunch of 2-D work on the walls can get tedious after a while.
7) If you could demand to have one artist show at the Schmidt, who would it be and why?
HB: Can the artist be dead? Because I would choose to have an exhibition of Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s artwork just so I could stare at it for weeks. I think “The Swing” would look quite nice in the Marsh Gallery.
8) Where do you hope to go with your art?
HB: For myself, I just want to keep making it. I want to keep growing as an artist and keep being inspired no matter where I am or what I’m doing. But, even more than that, I want to constantly facilitate other people’s art making in whatever way I can.
9) Possibly the most important question: What music do you listen to when you’re working on your art?
HB: Oh, lord. It depends. Most of the time I prefer music that’s soft, melodic, and a little unpredictable. When I’m making work, though, I prefer to listen to something upbeat that I can dance and/or sing along to. Most of my artwork is born out of snappy, jazzy tunes with smoky female vocals. I don’t read too much into that, though.