Fall 2013 Art History/Museum Studies Student Interns

David Smith

Image: David Smith hard at work cataloguing items found in a store located in Lethbridge’s Chinatown district that was donated to The Galt Museum & Archives.

Having enjoyed and learned a great deal from my previously completed six internships, I expect this semester to be just as engaging. Through working in the Collections Department at the Galt Museum & Archives, I’ve recently had the opportunity to experience some of its mild to wild daily operations. From data entry to gearing up in a gas mask and hard hat in order to preserve at risk local history, I’d like to think I’ve seen it all! However, I’m sure tomorrow will prove me wrong.

I believe that the stories objects tell in both museums and art galleries are important for remembering the past, enriching the present and shaping the future. As such, the stewardship of both physical objects and digital information are pursuits that I am passionate about. I look forward to making a difference this semester at the Galt Museum and in my future employment upon graduation.
The internship program available at the University of Lethbridge has greatly enhanced my education. Not only will I come away with a solid academic foundation rooted in museum theory and art history, but I will also have gained marketable skills that will allow me to enter a dynamic and competitive work environment.

Jana Mackenzie
Image: Jana Mackenzie, happily reearching a project for U of L Art Gallery Director Josephine Mills.

As a student in the Urban and Regional Studies program, the work I will be focusing on during my Interdisciplinary Research Internship will be assisting with the Complex Social Change (CSC) research project. Firstly, I will be assisting with data collection and research for a SSHRC grant. I will also be providing support to Christine Clark, New Media research assistant, who is managing the CSC website and disseminating information using a variety of communications strategies. The support I will provide will be gathering information from the various researchers and helping to make the range of academic material more accessible to the wider public. I will also be working to help increase the traffic on the various social media sites by providing updates on the CSC project and expanding on topics related to activism, social change and knowledge mobilization. Some of this will come from specific readings, but also I will be providing information that I will receive from my participation in the Liberal Education: Activism course that I am enrolled in. Finally, I will be directly involved in organizing a student panel drawing on participants from the above-mentioned liberal education class, which is planned to take place in the 2014 spring semester.

Throughout my work with this internship I hope to improve my communication skills with fellow students and professors, and the broader community. My main area of interest within the CSC project concerns understanding effective strategies for increasing knowledge mobilization.

Lauren Glenn
Image: Lauren Glenn defaming an Inuit print from the U of L Art Collection.

In my final semester as an Art History/ Museums Studies major, I am looking to learn career building skills that will support me when my degree is complete. This semester I will be completing an applied study at the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery. Having already done an internship at the Galt Museum last semester, I was interested in experiencing a gallery setting, as opposed to a museum one. The gallery has a renowned art collection that I wish to discover and study. I desire to have a hands-on experience with art conservation and collections management. I will be working as an Assistant Collections Manager with Juliet Graham, who is the art conservator at the university gallery. A team of us will be working on two specific collections that were gifted to the University; The Jim Coutts and BMO De Grandmaison collections.
Having already completed an internship, I was able to gain many skills, such as proper handling, photographing and documentation. These skills and hands-on experience will be applied in this new study and will give me more confidence in my work setting. While working with the U of L collection, I will learn new skills such as: condition reporting, unframing, rematting and fitting. On completing this applied study, I will have two internship experiences, along with my academic knowledge, which will give me a great advantage entering the work field. Working at the U of L gallery is a unique experience that will give me a greater knowledge and appreciation for art and its purpose.

Maria Livingston
Image: Maria Livingston stands in front of the title wall of the Nicholas de Grandmaison: Recent Acquisitions exhibition.

I am a fourth year Native American studies major who has always been passionate about various forms of art. Through this internship I will be creating education programs based on the works of Nicholas de Grandmaison; an artist who used First Nations people as the focus of his work. With a growing population of First Nations people in Canada, cultural sensitivity and understanding is becoming increasingly relevant. With this internship I hope to increase the student’s cultural sensitivity and introduce them to various fields of study including art history and museum studies.

As I continue to learn more about First Nations culture, I have a growing understanding of cultural protocols and traditional values. I have worked with youth of all ages, and as a mother I have a growing interest in enhancing the development of growing minds. Through this internship I will be able to improve my leadership, organizational, and independent working skills. I hope that this education program will allow students to respect other cultures, and that my appreciation for the subject matter will have a positive effect on the students.