Saying Goodbye to Our Spring Interns

This past few months of 2019, WNYBAC has had the pleasure of adding to our team Elise and Isabella. Both Elise and Isabella attend Canisius College and chose to work with us to gain experience in their respective fields of study. Now that their spring semester is coming to an end, we have to say goodbye! But first, we want to let you know a little about who has been working behind the scenes and with the WNYBAC team over the past few months.


Hello! I am Isabella Okuns, a soon-to-be graduating Senior in Communications and Journalism at Canisius. I am the communications and marketing intern here at WNYBAC, which means I have been working in the center’s marketing department by writing and publishing blog posts, Facebook posts and the email messages you may have received from us. 

What will you remember the most about your time here?

I think I will remember the most volunteering at this year’s Edible Book Festival when I served at the “Make your own Sploosh” station in the studio. It was cool seeing all the edible book entries in the main store and being able to participate as a volunteer. I met a lot of new and interesting people and the entries were very delicious! Because of my school and internship schedules, I hardly have time to actually participate in WNYBAC events so this was really important and memorable for me. I will also remember taking on my first big independent project with the Women of WNYBAC campaign for Women’s month in March. 

How did you come across WNYBAC as a possible internship?

One of my professors mentioned it to me as I was looking for a place to intern during my last semester. She knows I am interested in arts and non-profits, so once I found out about this I was highly interested. And it turned out to be really good and fun for me!

What have you accomplished here?

One of our Women of WNYBAC’s postcards project for Women’s Month

In March, I had my own Month long project in connection with this year’s Women’s Month. I made a month long series of spotlights on some of our WNYBAC Women and what they do here. It was great getting to meet new women who have influenced the art world in Buffalo in either a little way or a big way. And it was important for me to be able to showcase great inspiring women for Women’s month. I even got to work with one of interviewees, Katy Sloan, on her screen printing project for Women’s month. I also took over the blog after the former apprentice in charge left, it was a big responsibility and I think I did a pretty good job with it.

What’s next?

I am still trying to land on my feet, but I want to take it each step at a time. I do not have a set plan I am moving to next, whether a job or school. But as I keep applying for positions and I am just going to work on myself and work on my portfolio until the next path in my life becomes clear. Now I am just focused on finals, graduation, and applications.


Hi! My name is Elise Miller and I’m the studio/graphic design intern at the Book Arts Center. I design products to be printed using the letterpress or the screen printing methods. I have made cards and t-shirts and exhibition materials for the store.

What will you remember the most about your time here?

I really enjoyed having the freedom and flexibility to make my own designs.

How did you come across WNYBAC as a possible internship?

I first heard about this place in high school, my high school art teacher was really into bookmaking and she always recommended that I stop by and take a class here, but I never got the chance. I finally came here when I took a class at Canisius during my sophomore year called print design and we came here and made something in the letterpress studio. I remember seeing the other interns, printmaking students and art students working here from UB and thinking how cool it is for them to work here. Then, when I was trying to find an internship for this semester, WNYBAC was among my top choices of places to consider. So I emailed them and they got back to me positively. I chose WNYBAC because I had come here in the past and always wanted to come back and be more involved.

One of Elise’s cards she made for Valentine’s day

What have you accomplished here?

To me, just making cards that I can see on display to be sold is my biggest accomplishment. That someone might actually buy my artwork is a great accomplishment. One particular one I am proud of is one I made for Valentine’s day that said, “You’re Just My Type” because they posted it on Instagram, and it got like over 200 likes. So that is my biggest accomplishment, that people like my work.

Elise working in the studio

What’s next?

After graduation, I am taking a few months to just work on my own projects before jumping into any specific job. I want to work on my own art, do my own studying. I am considering doing an internship at 19 IDEAS, another marketing agency. I am also going to take a summer class at an art school and then I will consider where I want to go. I have like 3 paths in front of me; one would be being more of a fine artist where I just make products, or consider more like an agency and working on my way to becoming a creative director, or get into education, social change and saving the world. So those are my 3 future paths that I kind of want to combine or go on separately.


And that brings us to the end of our Spring Internship! Elise and I had a great time working here over the past few months and we are sad to leave. Learning and being able to contribute to the Book Arts Center was a great experience for both of us! We would like to thank everyone; Rosemary, Mel, Kate, Gail, Molly, Zach, Branwyn, all the volunteers, board members and all the interesting people we got to meet while we were here! Thank you for having us, it was an incredible experience and we hope to keep in touch!

A Goodbye Selfie!

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our funders listed below, for providing support to WNYBAC's ongoing programs taking place throughout Western New York:

NYSCA M & T Art 4 Moore Zenger Group Evans Bank Community Foundation Baird Foundation
Cameron Jane Wendt Foundation StoryGrowing