24 October 2012

Unique artistic internships for Essex students

University of Essex students completing internships at the Minories

University of Essex students and graduates completing internships at the Minories - William Adcock, Zoe Few, Sheila Madder and Ana Sol Gonzalez.

Four Essex students and graduates had the unique opportunity to help prepare for a major art exhibition at The Minories Galleries in Colchester.

The internships were made possible thanks to a partnership between the University's internship programme, the Minories management team and the Victor-Batte Lay Trust, the charitable organisation which owns the galleries.

William Adcock, Zoe Few, Sheila Madder and Ana Sol Gonzalez worked on preparations for Art for Colchester: The 20th century collecting practices of the Victor Batte-Lay Trust. The exhibition featured work gifted, loaned or bought by the Trust and included pieces by John Constable, Camille Pissarro and Sir Eduardo Paolozzi among many others.

Minories manager Lee Pugh said: “We could not have done this exhibition without the interns. They got involved in every aspect of preparing for an exhibition.”

Internships organised by the University are aimed at offering a student or graduate the chance to develop their skills and experience within a particular field, while providing businesses or organisations the chance to benefit from their knowledge, skills and expertise.

The internship programme is proving a big success with students and graduates having a positive impact on companies and organisations through their internships. Many placements have also turned into permanent jobs.

Ana, from Mexico, who has just completed her MA Curating Contemporary Art, said: “I’ve been able to develop interpretative materials which encourage parents to talk to their children about what the work might be about. I’ve also created material specifically for teachers bringing schools to the exhibition.”

BA History of Art student Zoe wants to become a curator. She said: “It was good to be involved in the process of putting on an exhibition. We were involved in all sorts of different things from writing label text to choosing art work and deciding where it should be displayed.”

Sheila, who is completing a MA in Gallery Studies and Critical Curating, said: "I really enjoyed being involved 'hands-on' and seeing the business side of how a gallery works."

History graduate William said: "I helped set up the exhibition and made a scale model of the exhibtiion room. I enjoyed the archive work in particular as that is something I have experience of as a history student  and I enjoy sifting through primary sources." 

The Minories Art Galleries are a professional contemporary art gallery run by the Colchester School of Art, part of Colchester Institute.

The Friends of the Minories and Victor Batte-Lay Trust have ensured the building be used to the benefit of the local arts community. This has continued and now ensures the Colchester School of Art provides contemporary art and design in one Colchester’s most distinctive buildings.

Colchester Institute is an academic partner of the University of Essex.

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