Saturday June 25, 2022 | by UrbanGlass Staff

Education Intern Anisa Najar reflects on her time at UrbanGlass

I got the opportunity to intern at UrbanGlass from October 2021 to May 2022 (woah!) through the CUNY Cultural Corps program. Though the online interview fair was certainly a process, I eventually found myself in Urban’s queue. I had the calmest interview of the day (and the most appearances from my cat all day) with the Education department and barreled on. A few days later, I received an email that was a truly valiant attempt at copying Excel cells into a text editor. I had gotten a position at the glass place!

I had originally imagined myself simply making videos and crying over Final Cut Pro help forums in a Brooklyn office. Much to my delight, Gayle and Karina told the other intern, Liz, and I that we would indeed be gently placed near hot glass and fire. We would be learning about the various glass techniques that the studio has the capacity to do, and indeed, do them! I’d never interacted with glass past my beloved Pyrex pans, so I was quite excited. There was a bit of a lull in our glass education over the holiday season, but we picked back up in the early spring. We got experience in stained glass, flame working, glass blowing, and fusing, all of which I considered using to make cats and only one of which I did.

Of course, we also spent time in the office, frantically looking through Stack Exchange for answers to very specific problems (at least I was). Our first project was a joint one, which was a fun way of getting to know Liz and kicking off our 8 months together. We were to make tutorial videos for the Glassified take home kits (available at the shop on the first floor). And we did! Four whole videos for the viewing pleasure of the people who take home a kit. I ended up reshooting two of the videos, which did push their completion back, but I never felt pressured to be faster. I was able to work at my own pace and create a product that I actually liked. I made a few more videos during my time there and felt similarly about my workflow for all of them. Maybe you’ve seen one already!

Being in the office was similarly quite relaxed; I felt like we were welcomed into the space quite warmly – especially if we passed through the hot shop as it is truly hot. We also happened to join the team in the middle of an office renovation, so it was fun seeing who’s desk I got to temporarily borrow from week to week. We were also offered seltzer water, the nectar of the Education Department, from the communal box many a time. While appreciated, I didn’t have the heart to tell them I don’t really like La Croix. I’m sorry if this how you all found out.

Doing this internship made me realize that I’d like to remain in the local art community! I don’t quite want to make content for a huge corporation; I’d love to work with small art organizations who are actually part of their neighborhood and keep their doors open to those who want to walk through them. Being able to work with a team who is passionate about the art they create and foster in their space is something I want to continue in my post graduate life, and UrbanGlass was my first exposure to that.