Fall 2014 Art History/Museum Studies Student Interns

Maria Livingston
Image: Maria Livingstone gathering research to assist in curating Sharing Stories, Bridging Cultures: research and education projects drawn from a collection of portraits by Nicholas de Grandmaison.

I have previously completed two internships through the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery. During this time I was working on the collection of works of Russian-born artist Nicholas de Grandmaison, an artist who often depicted First Nations people in his work. This semester my focus will be curating a show in the Helen Christou Gallery. With my previous experience as an intern, personal experience as a First Nations woman, and the courses I have taken as a Native American Studies major, my understanding of First Nations culture and art gallery practice continues to grow.

I am appreciative of the skills I have gained in my previous internships including: curatorial work, creating lesson plans, conducting interviews, and working with students of all ages.

With this internship I will gain further experience by curating an exhibition in the Helen Christou Gallery on display from February 13th to March 27th, 2015. This will allow me to continue sharing the information I have gathered with a larger audience and enable me to engage audiences in a meaningful way. First Nations people are the focus of Nicholas de Grandmaison’s work, so sharing this information is crucial. With any specific culture, sharing their stories has to been done in a culturally sensitive manner, without bias, and with a high level of respect.

I will also build on my experience in public relations and understanding of educational programs by creating more interactive activities using de Grandmaison’s works as the focus. Not only will I be gaining skills that will be beneficial to my career, I will build personal skills such as time management, work ethic and decision making, which will give me a well-rounded experience upon graduation.

Celina Osborne-Dasilva
Image: Celina Osborne-Dasilva installs artwork from the U of L Art Collection in a wing of the U of L President’s office.

While entering my 3rd year as an Art History/ Museum Studies major, I feel as though enrolling in another internship will be just as beneficial as my last. During my first internship (Spring, 2014), I was given the role as “Collections’ Assistant” at the Galt Museum & Archives. My personal and professional experience at the Galt was extremely rewarding. I was exposed to the work that is involved within a museum setting and my appreciation for the collection grew fonder.

With the advantage of completing an internship, I had the opportunity of securing a summer job at the Remington Carriage Museum. Having an academic background in Museum Studies came as an advantage when applying for the job, but employers are more concerned with work experience than credentials. My internship was a great way to prove that I had the experience and that I was able to contribute towards their organization.

During my second internship, I will be applying the skills that I have acquired from my time at the Galt Museum and the Remington Museum such as: the registration of incoming materials, acquisition processes, transporting objects to and from the gallery and vault, creating condition reports, inspecting and photographing artifacts, as well as performing archival research. At the ULAG, I hope to gain new career building skills that involve hands-on situations, such as: re-matting artworks, locating works for exhibitions and/or research, working closely with a curatorial team and artists to prepare for exhibitions, as well as gaining knowledge in art conservation and documentation of works of art in the permanent collection or on loan for temporary exhibitions.

Through experience-based learning, I am looking forward to obtaining an increased understanding of the ULAG’s collection and exhibitions. I believe that interning as an Assistant in the collections area, under the direction of Juliet Graham, will allow me to witness a new side of the work that is involved to maintain a collection and it will give me the opportunity to become exposed to new professional pathways.

Michelle Sylvestre
Image: Michelle Sylvestre performs conservation work on a piece from the U of L Art Collection.

As a third year multidisciplinary student, I am passionate about being involved with the arts. I have thoroughly enjoyed my volunteer positions through various art galleries over the past several years, but I am now ready to delve deeper. I am excited to be part of the internship program at the U of L Art Gallery this semester.

During my internship, I hope to have the opportunity to experience the wide range of professional occupations involved in the acquisition, collection, preservation, presentation and interpretation of artifacts and art.

My experience to this point has been largely in programming and education and so I look forward to opportunities to expand my understanding, practical experience, and gain valuable insight into gallery and museum work.

Since I have just started my internship, I do not yet have many experiences to share, but have started preparing for upcoming programs as well as installations to occur in the near future. I am looking forward to being involved with some on campus and off campus public programming projects such as Knit ‘n’ Knatter and Girls Space, playing the part of gallery attendant for the SETH: Dominion exhibition, and conceptualizing as well as delivering an activity to engage the public in the Selfies exhibit.