• Hannah, Jasmine, Seb, Sarah, and Gisselle at the Beecroft Art Gallery

    Hannah, Jasmine, Seb, Sarah, and Gisselle at the Beecroft Art Gallery

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Thank you to our interns!

Posted: 19 August 2015 by Dr Sarah Demelo

Our amazing interns Hannah, Gisselle, Jasmine and Seb have now finished their current projects with ESCALA (although they are still finishing their MA dissertations) and so we asked them what had been the highlights of their internship and how their work with us had helped them with their future career plans. This is what they said:

Jasmine

The highlight of my time with ESCALA has been the opportunity to do what I hope to be doing as a career, working on education initiatives in a museum-setting. I enjoyed having the freedom to research Object-Based Learning and build upon my previous experience working in Education and Curatorial departments in art institutions in the United States. I was happy to be able to lay down part of the foundation from which ESCALA will be able to continue to build. My internship helped solidify my future career plans. 

Seb 

One highlight of my internship was discovering a number of archive items. In the audio-visual material there was an interview with the argentine artist León Ferrari with former ESCALA curator Gabriela Salgado. This item gives unique insight into the artist’s practice and career. Researchers and those interested in the artist are now able to view this work on the collection’s Vimeo page. Another item, a video, from the Continuum exhibition, showcases work by the leading figures in Brazilian avant-garde and was a really a unique item to have come across in the archive.

Another highlight was visiting the former studio of Colombian artist Ofelia Rodríguez. It was a fascinating experience to see the space in which the artist had worked for many years. I was able to take some photographs of the space which are held in the collection’s archive for the purposes of research. I think that the strengths of the collection has been the collaboration with artists over the years all of which reinforced links between artists, audiences and ESCALA. Ofelia Rodríguez’s work holds an important place in the collection and I felt privileged to have been able to see many of her works first-hand and the space she had worked in over many years.

I now have experience of digitising archival material. Getting an insight into ESCALA’s collection made me realise that many collections hold archives with unique material that need to be preserved for future generations. This made me realise that caring and providing access to archives is incredibly important part of any art collection. I learnt good practice for working in archives such as taking care of individual items and taking the upmost care when handling these items. I am keen to find work where I can continue developing these skills. It was appropriate that I was interning in the ESCALA archive at a time when I was writing and researching on archives and art. I hope to combine my interest in photography, archives and the arts by trying to find work in a photographic archive. 


Hannah 

The highlight of my internship experience has been working with ESCALA’s website, uploading catalogue scans and videos that were found in the archive and linking exhibition information to object pages. I enjoy being a part of providing further research information on the collection for visitors of the website.

My internship with ESCALA has provided me with experience working with a new collections management system MI+ and has allowed me to continue developing my collections management skills. Working with ESCALA was a amazing opportunity for me to gain experience in my field while completing my studies at Essex. I thoroughly enjoyed my work and thanks to my internship with ESCALA I know that continuing to pursue a career in collections management is the right choice for me. 

Gisselle

One of the highlights of my internship has been the multiple field trips to London, all part of the research and delivering of OBL (Object-Based Learning) sessions. Each deserves mention: This year Jasmine and I were in charge of further developing and strengthening the OBL program by liaising with the Human Rights Centre and the Language and Linguistics department. I continued the work which I had carried out last year as a frontrunner by working alongside Teresa Torres and Lexa Olivera-Smith (from Language and Linguistics). This year Teresa chose to continue working with the Bolivian artist, Fernando Montes’ drawings and has opted to implement Peruvian artist Warmi's (Susie Goulder) Chuwas in her teaching for the upcoming academic year. As part of the OBL sessions carried out with Teresa’s intermediate Spanish language class of 2014-15, Teresa, her students and I were able to visit Marcela Montes at her house in Wimbledon. We were joined by Fernando’s son Luis Enrique, who together introduced us to Fernando’s studio, which has been kept intact since his death in 2007 and is now an incredibly enlightening source of knowledge which helps us in the better understanding of his artistic practice. On the other hand, as part of the research carried out for Teresa’s classes next year, I was able to meet Susie Goulder, who goes under the artistic name of ‘Warmi’ meaning ‘woman’ in Quechua, the native Andean language used in South America. Warmi lives with her husband, scholar and specialist in Andean Languages, Paul Goulder. We had a very interesting conversation about the future of art education and culture revaluation in Lima, Peru. I was also able to meet the OBL specialist team at UCL (University College London) and we had the opportunity to talk about the different approaches to OBL in Essex and UCL. Thomas Kador and George Richards welcomed us into the wonderful space of UCL´s art museum which is fundamentally set-up as a space for OBL sessions.

Last but not least, I have to admit that one of the highlights of the year has also been working with the other interns. Hannah, Seb and most especially Jasmine have been a pleasure to work with. Jasmine brought really fresh ideas to the table thanks to her background in the education department of the Getty and the MoCA. I am sure that the incredible work she has produced in order to document our OBL sessions will be incredibly useful for ESCALA for many years to come. I have learnt ever so much from each of them and that ought to be recognised.

The internship has helped me to think more carefully in which section(s) of museums or galleries I feel the most comfortable in. I hope to take my learnings of OBL at ESCALA in a future job with the education team in a museum or gallery based in Lima, Peru, where I come from. If anything, the internship has allowed me to think of art as fundamentally a vital educational tool and source of exchanges of different associations and interpretations of the world as we know it. 


We wish them well on the next stage of their journey and look forward to Hannah and Seb returning in new roles as Documentation Assistant and Curatorial Assistant. 

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