Anna Sammons - Intern - Summer 2019

My Time at Shango - Anna Sammons


Hello, readers of this blog and future interns at Shango! My name is Anna Sammons and I recently graduated from the University of Dallas with a degree in painting. Currently I am working at a frame shop, and trying to get my art out there and keep painting. I hope to get my MFA in painting someday in the near future, and in the more distant future I hope to one day be represented by a gallery and keep chasing exciting opportunities. The one thing I know for sure is that I will keep painting for as long as I live.


            I started my time at Shango with absolutely no expectations about what the internship would entail. All I knew was that it was a tribal art gallery--and I had no knowledge of tribal art! On my first day, John opened up a file on the computer containing pictures of some Oceanic items he had recently acquired, put a stack of books down in front of me, and told me to research the items. I felt vastly underqualified and more than a little bit lost, but I threw myself into it--and surprisingly enough, it didn’t turn out so bad. The feeling I got when I found a picture or symbol in one of the books that matched one of the items I was looking for was so exciting. It felt like detective work! At the end of the afternoon, John called me into his office and we talked about what I wanted to do with my life. I told him I was interested in getting a foot into the contemporary art world and that most of all I wanted to keep painting. He said he would help me with that and I went on my way.

            After that day, I continued to keep trying new things at Shango, from appraisal work to auction research to organizing the catalogue database and the library. One thing I’m really grateful I got the opportunity to do was visit the contemporary art gallery across the street, Valley House, and talk to the director there. She motivated me to keep looking for opportunities to get my art out there and provided a fresh perspective on the art market.

            As my internship at Shango is coming to a close, I am extremely thankful for all the opportunities I have been exposed to here, and I definitely have a deeper appreciation for tribal art and different areas of the art world than when I started. I want to thank John Buxton for providing me with these opportunities, and I will definitely keep using what I have learned here in the future.