Meet Our Fall 2023 Interns With A Q&A!

October 5, 2023

Please welcome our new fall interns, Griffin Asnis and Emma Shi!

Griffin is a recent graduate from the University of Virginia and just finished taking his LSATS to apply to law schools this fall. He is a native of Bergen County, and has been helping us in the office with research, exhibition preparation, event assistance, coiling stage cables in a figure eight pattern, and a smorgasbord of tasks and assignments. He will be busy writing applications, but we are thankful to have him join us on Wednesdays and weekend events.

Emma is able to spend her Wednesdays with us at the Puffin through the Senior Experience Internship Program at Bergen County Academies. The program allows high school seniors to spend a full business day at their internship once a week to learn what it’s like to be in the workplace. We are looking forward to getting to know Emma and working with her in our upcoming season.

Q&A with Griffin

Can you give a brief intro?

Hello! My name is Griffin Asnis, and I am from Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey. I am a 2020 graduate of the University of Virginia, where I studied government and history. After graduation, I worked as a litigation paralegal at Proskauer Rose LLP for over two years, and I am now in the midst of applying to law school for the fall of 2024. I look forward to working with Puffin!

What is your favorite thing?

Dessert! I have a huge sweet tooth. 

What do you do for fun on weekends or in your downtime?

In my free time, I enjoy taking walks, playing tennis, baking, and trying new restaurants.

What made you want to intern at the Puffin Foundation, and what do you hope to learn from the experience?

Before joining Puffin as an intern, I had never worked for a nonprofit. I was immediately drawn to the Foundation’s core mission; Puffin perfectly synthesizes my passions for the arts and social justice. I hope to learn more about the day-to-day functions of a nonprofit organization during my time here, as I would like to work in a legal capacity with nonprofit organizations after law school.    

Do you have a secret skill that not many people may not know about?

I love to draw, particularly with chalk pastel.

What is your favorite food or cuisine?

French! I am an ardent Francophile.

Do you like reading? If so, what’s your favorite book you’ve read recently?

Yes! I particularly like historical nonfiction, although my favorite book is a memoir by Paul Kalanithi: When Breath Becomes Air.

Q&A with Emma

Can you give a brief intro?

Hi! I’m Emma, and I’m currently a high school senior at the Bergen County Academies in Hackensack, NJ. Through involvement with my school’s literary magazine, I gained an appreciation for magazine design and community-oriented art. In my own art, I primarily work with paint and digital mediums. I also enjoy writing (occasionally) and playing the mandolin.

What is your favorite thing?

Pentel EnerGel pens, 0.7mm, blue ink

How did you first get into art? What do you hope to do in the future?

I always liked drawing and doing art projects growing up, but I never considered pursuing art seriously until I entered high school. Due to COVID, my freshman year of school was remote, so I had a lot of downtime stuck at home. I initially took up drawing as a hobby to pass time, and began dabbling in digital art using my iPad. Because there are so many resources online and on social media, I was able to teach myself the basics.

After returning to school in-person, I had the opportunity to experiment more and try new mediums and styles, and over the last 3 years I’ve really delved into my practice. I’ve tried my hand at drawing, illustration, painting, sculpture, and other forms of art, and I feel I now have a much more comprehensive idea of what it means to work as a creative.

In college and the future, I’d like to explore art more interdisciplinarily with my other interests of science, art history, and social activism, whilst continuing to make my own art. 

What do you do for fun on weekends or in your downtime?

 I’m a big homebody, so most weekends I’m in my room napping, watching Netflix, or listening to music. However, when I have the time and energy, I also enjoy visiting friends in New York City, or going out for dinner, shopping, and museum visits with friends and family. 

What made you want to intern at the Puffin Foundation and what do you hope to learn from the experience?

Recently, I’ve been exploring the intersection between arts and Asian American studies. As a 2nd-gen immigrant myself, art has been an outlet for me to explore my culture and heritage. Following my own research into and previous internship experience in Asian American history and artistic activism, I’m interested in learning more about the role of art as a medium for social justice, and how I can use my own skills to contribute.  Through my experience with the Puffin Foundation, I hope to broaden my perspectives on these issues and gain insight on the workings of a nonprofit gallery.

Do you have a secret skill that not many people may not know about?

I can do a one-handed cartwheel.

What inspires you?

I draw inspiration from so many places, but I think my biggest inspirations always come from the people around me, especially my friends. I’m lucky to be surrounded by a lot of passionate, caring people, and interacting with them inspires me to put care into my own work as well.

Share this page