Out West student blog

Yosemite From a Distance


Iris stopping to rest during a hike through Yosemite. Image credit: Rthura Cevallos

Iris Osorio-Villatoro ‘21
Hometown: Palmdale, CA
Area of Study: Latin American Studies, MA
Museum Intern, Yosemite Museum

Why did you want to do this internship?

I wanted to do this internship because of how much I love Yosemite! The time I’ve spent there in person has been nothing short of magical. I knew that I could further develop my research skills while contributing to a national park that has given me so much peace and beauty. I also wanted to gain museum experience, so it was the perfect fit for me. Even if I couldn’t do the internship in person, I could learn about Yosemite and appreciate it from a distance.

How does your role support the host organization’s mission?

As curator of collections intern, I’m advancing the host organization’s mission by offering a fresh perspective on the art that exists at Yosemite Museum. There are hundreds of art pieces and artifacts, and each one tells an individual story. I’m conducting research regarding the artists behind these pieces in an effort to tell their histories in an easily digestible way. 

Describe one project you will be working on this summer.

The bulk of my internship will consist of creating an art guide that can hopefully be distributed to those that visit Yosemite Museum. There’s no way to properly display everything the museum has in their archives, so I am creating a guide that gives visitors a glimpse into the wealth those archives hold. To do this, I’ve been digging into the lives and works of major artists who helped shape Yosemite’s narrative and public image. Soon, I’ll be working on actually designing the guide, which I’m super excited about!

How does this project relate to your studies and/or career goals?

This internship has entailed a lot of independent research on my end, and it’s definitely helped me sharpen my time management and organizational skills. This project has also allowed me to combine my research experience with my interest in storytelling, something I hope to be able to continue to do in the future. I also really wanted to gain museum experience, as it’s something I can see myself doing long-term!

What do you like to do in your spare time?

In my spare time, I enjoy hiking and being outdoors as much as possible. I hope to be able to spend the next few months exploring new places and taking in new sights. Recently, my friends and I have started to really enjoy playing spikeball together as a way to stay active. I also watch a lot of TV--like, a lot of TV. I love absorbing new content and discussing it with anyone else who enjoys it as much as I do.

Iris stopping to rest during a hike through Yosemite. Image credit: Rthura Cevallos

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