The “New Girl”

Slideshow from the Saturday Art Club 2 November 2013 (including Play me I’m Yours Glasgow)

In June 2013 when dissertations had been handed in, exams had been graded and Graduation Day loomed it was time to revaluate the goals that I had for the last four years. I no longer had the excuse of essays and exams and now had to tackle the scary concepts of my ‘next step’ the ‘career path’ and just the ‘becoming a full functioning adult’ in general.

My degree in History and Politics from the University of Strathclyde gave me some good options to consider, teaching perhaps or further study. However, I knew at this point I wanted to have an opportunity to apply these transferrable skills’ that I was assured would accumulate over four years at University, in a more practical sense.

The Museum and Galleries Scotland Intern programme caught my eye immediately, specifically the opportunity to be an Intern at the Gallery of Modern Art. This offered a chance to work on an upcoming public engagement programme and would involve working with a number of different groups to engage them in contemporary art.

For the last two months my supervisor Martin, the Learning and Access Curator has been making sure I have every opportunity to learn about how museums and galleries operate. This has included visiting a number of different sites and events such as; Tramway, Trongate 103, GMRC, Scotland Street, St Mungos, MGS Conference, the Burrell Collection, Mary Mary and the Scottish Learning Festival. Not only has Martin introduced me to a side of Glasgow arts that I have been so woefully ignorant about, but has also kept up a stream of explanations, introductions and answers to all the silliest of questions. It’s because of this that I now feel empowered and excited to begin working on the upcoming project.

Anna, Annette and Caroline the Learning Assistants were kind enough to let me shadow the schools workshops. Workshops include teaching pupils a practical skill such as sculpture or printing. These sessions proved as invaluable to me as to the pupils as I learnt the skills along with them. This helped me create my own theme for Novembers first Saturday Art Club.

The theme was centred around creating 3D Masks inspired by Ian Hamilton Finlay’s ‘Three Heads’ that are currently on display. I was pleased to have an opportunity to put in practice what I had learned and to see adults and children working together on their creations!

Given that my academic history was not focussed on art I was pleased to have the opportunity to have a tour around the galleries with by Curator of Modern Art, Sean as an introduction. This was followed a tour around the newly opened Living With War Exhibition with the other Curator, Ben. All of this information was quickly added to the bank of ever growing knowledge and appreciation for modern art.

Next came Katie, who took the time to talk through the Social Justice programmes that GoMA has worked on. This provided me with valuable information on how an art gallery can be more than just a building in a square, but a motivator for discussion, ideas and above all become a place of inclusion and social expression.

Everyone at GoMA has effortlessly made me feel part of the team already. The open and creative atmosphere full of trust and support means I face the next year of my internship with enthusiasm and excitement. I hope I can share the experience with all of you!

Becca McSheaffrey

Intern of Generation and Co-Production at the Gallery of Modern Art

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