In the second of our guest posts from the hardworking and thoughtful Museums Studies students from the University of Leicester, Alejandra López-Oliveros talks about her motivation for applying to GoMA and what she is taking away from her time with us.
Internship Reflections – Alejandra López-Oliveros
The main reason I applied for the internship at GoMA was to be able to take part of the ‘behind the scenes’ of queer timɘs school (QTS), a project led by the socially-engaged artist Jason E. Bowman and created as a platform to inform and debate the story of LGBTPQI people in Scotland in the past 50 years.
The QTS run for a (very intense) week and included presentations from different speakers and a full day of debate. During that week, the other interns and I assisted the curator/producer Katie Bruce with several tasks, from preparing the printed material used during the week, to doing the registration of the participants, help getting the orders for lunch and organizing the coffee/tea breaks, facilitate the sound recording, documenting the events, etc. Although those may not seem as the most glamorous tasks, they helped me understand everything that takes to produce and carry out an event as complex as this one, and I have learned what and how to do it.
Of course, the work did not finish with the week of presentations and debates. All the interns had the opportunity to be in a number of meetings where the future of the project was discussed: team meetings, acquisitions meetings, exhibitions and programme meetings and research meetings. During said meetings, the idea of the project took shape and morphed with the questions and conversations with other members of the Glasgow Museums’ team, materialising itself little by little. Furthermore, those meetings were a great way to grasp the dynamics of the different teams within the institution – the role of each member of the team, the difference between each aspect of their work and the impact all of them have on the final product.
This has been my first experience working in an artist-led, community-based project, and I cannot say enough good things about the experience. I have learned a lot about LGBTPQI in Scotland, not only from the different speakers and their testimonies but particularly from the participants who debated, questioned and incorporated different perspectives in every single of the themes, enriching immensely the experience.
Being an 8-week internship, we only had a small window in the overall project – we were not there when QTS was originally proposed, where the speakers and locations were first contacted, etc., and of course we will not be there to contact the commissioned artists, see their work and installation, be in the opening, etc. However, that window gave me a unique insight into a multifaceted project like this and I have learned what I think are valuable skills that I will hopefully apply in future experiences in museums.
I would like to thank Katie, Martin, Angela, Gareth and Will for taking the time to answer all my queries and for making me feel part of GoMA’s team. It was a pleasure to go to the office every day.