As a Museum Studies student, my primary goal is becoming more involved in the practices of the arts community. An internship is an excellent way of gaining work experience in a controlled learning environment. It is through these internships I intend to narrow down my expectations for any potential job opportunities once I have completed my degree.
I am excited to be extending my knowledge outside of the classroom and out of public programming to join the collections team at the Galt Museum in Lethbridge Alberta. In previous projects, my goals have been to learn about the hands-on production of an exhibition and to improve my communication skills with young children to better explain complex themes in contemporary art practices. At the Galt I will be under the supervision of the Collections Technician, Kevin MacLean, as well as the term Assistant, Elise Pundyk. While at the Galt, my primary goal will be to explore the inner workings of collections management. Kevin and I have laid out five main goals for the internship: exposure to the donation process, documentation process, preventative conservation practices, public engagement and finally, the Galt’s artifact database InMagic.
In the end, the objectives of the internships are intended as an educational experience to better transfer students from the academic environment to the work environment. These experiences will inform my decisions after graduation and solve the problem that you need a job to gain experience, but you need experience to get a job.
As I approach the final year of my undergrad degree in the BFA Art Studio program at the University of Lethbridge, I am determined to become more involved with the art community in Lethbridge. I am grateful to be a part of the internship program that the Art Department and the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery offers. Although my internship as a public programs assistant has just begun, I have already attended and co-hosted multiple public programs. Culture Vulture, Word On The Street, and the Drawing Bar, have been events focusing on public engagement. These programs foster a growing connection between the University Art Gallery and individuals both on campus and in the community. The events create an opportunity for individuals of all ages to explore their creative abilities, and to connect to others with similar interests. This experience has helped me understand the tasks and goals carried out by our University Art Gallery in aid to our diverse community.
The internship has also introduced me to the University art collection. I have been given the opportunity to use the collection database, and to digitally explore the work of many Canadian artists. Beyond 2D and 3D works, I had the opportunity to work alongside Lisa Hirmer, a visiting artist from Guelph, Ontario. Her project Plant Tenders with the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, focuses on public opinions in relation to future outcomes. The goal was to determine which plants were in highest demand to grow on campus, in preparation for a potential future disaster or emergency.
As Hirmer and I both greeted individuals passing by our station, we welcomed people to partake in our quick survey in exchange for a button or cookie. It was interesting to observe the different reactions and levels of interest amongst students and staff. Hirmer’s approach pushed me to reassess my understanding of what is art, and has sparked inspiration for my future work. In addition to assisting Hirmer with her project, I have also gained valuable insight from discussing her practice and attending her lecture in Art Now. The internship has provided many opportunities to aid with my professional development as both a student and an artist, and I look forward to the rest of this semester as it unfolds.