Emma Kim is interested in what is behind the artist.

And the Whanganui woman is enjoying backstage as Space Studio & Gallery’s new intern, the final stage of a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Massey University.

Growing up in Auckland, Kim was always headed for a career in art.

“(My parents) both did design at university and my mum used to be a graphic designer and when I was growing up I’d watch her doing illustrations for children’s books.

“It’s something I’ve always been doing and I’ve never thought about doing anything else other than art.”

At university Kim focussed on drawing, painting and latterly stitching and embroidery.

“Massey is very open with medium.”

But more than practicing art Kim is interested in what makes the art world function – she wants to work at a gallery or museum – so she chose to intern at a gallery.

“I do like making art but I really like the system that supports artists to have their exhibitions. There’s always people behind it.

“I guess it’s something that I started learning when I came to uni. I never thought about how that whole industry and community works. I’ve always thought just about the artist making art and that kind of thing.”

At Space she will be involved in event management such as coordinating the night market for La Fiesta, general running of the gallery, greeting the public and setting up exhibitions.

“I definitely wanted to work somewhere in Whanganui because I’ve seen other galleries in Wellington and I realised I hadn’t had the opportunity to be part of the Whanganui arts community.

“I didn’t graduate school here so I don’t have any school friends. But meeting new people and seeing new opportunities is really exciting.”

And she’s found Whanganui to have the accessibility she believes art needs.

“Because art is never restricted to certain area or certain genres so I think it’s really important to be open about it.

“In Wellington, sometimes it can be hard. It would seem limited to some people but in Whanganui it’s part of its culture.”

Kim is the second intern Space Studio & Gallery has hosted and curator Sarah Williams says is part of what she is trying to achieve with the gallery.

“Because Space’s ethos is so much about encouraging emerging artists it just seems a really natural fit that we’d be giving opportunities for people to learn about the industry as well.”

Featured photo: Emma Kim (left) and Space Studio & Gallery curator Sarah Williams