I am entering into my fourth year of an Art History/Museum Studies degree here at the university. For the Fall 2021 semester, I will be completing an internship with Dr. Josephine Mills and David Smith at the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery. This placement will see me curate an exhibition for the Dr. Margaret (Marmie) Perkins Hess Gallery that will open to the public in January 2022. From the beginning, this opportunity has proven equal parts terrifying and exciting. Previously, I completed an internship at the Galt Museum and Archives where I assisted with shifting public engagement approaches during a pandemic and sifting through archival material, so undertaking this curatorial project at ULAG allows me to expand upon an entirely different set of skills. Through my time at the university, my interests have swung from looking into collections management to being drawn in by curatorial concerns and I look forward to the chance to put this interest to the ultimate test.
The overarching goal for this curation project is to articulate and present a clear exhibition theme to our university community. I hope to use the extensive collection of figure studies housed here—something of a hidden gem with a storied history in art—to prompt viewers to consider not only the bodies they see on the walls or the ones they inhabit, but the stories bodies can share and the question they can pose when presented as basic, fragile forms. It will be a satisfying challenge to assemble a strong group of works via the collection database, deliver precise gallery text, and learn how best to map these ideas out across the walls. I am especially looking forward to spending time with David Smith to learn more about preparation tasks, art installation, and his personal process for mounting beautiful shows. What has kept me excited about the Art History/Museum Studies program here at the university are these chances to go beyond theory and experience firsthand what working in a museum or gallery can be all about.