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Students awarded two rare curatorial internships

30 August 2013

Students awarded two rare curatorial internships

Two Art History students are following their dreams of becoming art curators after they each successfully received a rare a curatorial internship.

BA Honours students Nicola Verdon and Chelsea Renshaw have been studying Ian Wedde's Art Writing and Curatorial Practice paper in the Department of Art History through which the internship opportunities arose.

After a shortlisting with some of their fellow students and a gruelling interview process Nicola was awarded the Te Tuhi internship, while Chelsea received the Special Collections Internship.

For Nicola, the Te Tuhi internship will see her curating an exhibition at the Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts in Pakuranga set to open late October this year.

To be awarded the internship Nicola and five other students competing for the placement first had to view the work of several artist candidates. She chose to work with Elam Honours student Bryn Roberts. She then had to create an exhibition idea, concept document and budget and pitch it to a panel comprising of her lecturer Ian Wedde, James McCarthy (Te Tuhi Director) and Bruce Phillips (Te Tuhi Curator) and the rest of the Art Writing and Curatorial Practice class.

Nicola was thrilled to be awarded the internship as it gives the 25-year-old the opportunity to employ the critical writing skills she developed in conjunction with her studio practice while completing her Bachelor of Fine Arts (Hons) at Elam, as well as her desire to plan and develop an exhibition alongside an artist. She is aware the work will come with challenges but she believes “the best thing about art is the very challenges it presents."

The Grey Lynn resident will carry out her internship from now until February next year.

Meanwhile Chelsea has received the Special Collections Internship that will see her researching and categorising archival documents and material donated to the University by Professor Sydney Musgrove’s family.

Professor Musgrove was head of the English Department from 1947 until his retirement in 1980. In 1963 he launched Summer Shakespeare, a tradition that still takes place at the University every year.

The 22-year-old from Auckland’s North Shore will spend from October until November researching and categorising photographs, programmes, costume designs, posters and newspaper cuttings from Professor Musgrove’s activity at the University and the Auckland theatre scene between 1949 until 1982.

Once completed, she will then curate an exhibition of the material at the University’s General Library and producing an extensive on-line catalogue for everyone’s future use.

Chelsea is particularly interested in comparing the costume designs with the historic photographs.

“It's really interesting learning about the close knit theatre community as well as looking at the design aspect of all the unique material." she says.

Both students are currently completing their dissertations but are well aware their internships could help them achieve long term success in the highly competitive world of curating.


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