The Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, or mima, Partnership Studentship has a value of £1500, and an opportunity to undertake a volunteer placement at the institute. Open to all full-time and second year part-time Home/EU and Overseas students, this studentship will be of particular interest to students on the Modern and Contemporary Art pathway.
Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, part of Teesside University, is moving forward with a civic agenda, aiming to have a social function and to repurpose art as a tool. With this vision, we see ourselves as a ‘useful’ museum.
We wish to have an influence on society, taking a leading role in addressing current issues within politics, economics and culture, and contributing to change. Our programmes encompass themes such as housing, migration, inequality, regeneration, and healthcare.
We offer changing exhibitions, collection displays, learning activities, projects, and community-focused initiatives that involve multiple artists and publics. These programmes promote creativity for everyone in ordinary life, exploring education, activism and making.
We have been developing relationships with constituencies in Middlesbrough and beyond. Our ambition is that these help us shape who we are: a public site, open and accessible, diverse and inclusive, and used by all.
The successful applicant will be expected to work throughout the month of May. The placement will be timed to take place at the end of the taught component of the MA programme and before dissertation research begins in earnest.
Here is some information on why mima value their partnership students so highly, and what successful applicants can expect:
Why do you think it’s important to make links with local universities like York?
"In a time of such economic difficulties, an attitude of partnership is proving essential. In particular, partnerships with universities can prove beneficial to both parties in maintaining links to academia and in maintaining research into both collections and exhibition programmes."
What difference do partnership students make or what do you value most about their work at mima?
"Partnership students offer valuable resources to the team, enabling projects to be undertaken that maybe wouldn’t happen otherwise, or perhaps developing existing projects further."
How do you determine what the student works on?
"After initially speaking with the student to discuss their interests, past experiences and any existing knowledge they would like to develop, we suggest a few projects or ideas we have in the pipeline that require assistance. After getting their input we assign them specific projects and roles."
How beneficial will this kind of professional networking and practical experience be for the students taking part?
"As an employer in the arts industry, where the amount of applicants far outnumbers the positions available, previous experience and practical knowledge can give candidates the edge."
Margot Miltenberger, previous recipient of the mima Partnership Studentship, enjoyed the opportunity the placement gave her to direct her experience based on her own interests.
What did your work at mima entail?
“My role at mima was adaptable, but mostly involved researching material for the upcoming exhibition. This included collaborating on an interactive digital tool for the public and researching material for display. I also had various tasks surrounding the permanent collection, such as a location audit and gathering material for an upcoming collaboration with Art Weekender.”
What experiences would you say have been most useful or unexpected?
“I most appreciated the flexibility of the team at mima – while I had plenty to do, I was always encouraged to take part in any public events, linger over community lunches, and observe the many aspects of putting on an exhibition. Participation in meetings and miscellaneous tasks allowed me to get a feel for the many roles within an art institution. The most unexpected thing was how excited I was to see the exhibition opening – I had no idea how thrilled I would be to see the public interacting with material I’d helped put together!”
Who did you work with and how did the institution make use of you?
“I primarily worked with the curatorial team, but had the opportunity to direct my experience based on my preferences. I did a significant amount of research for the upcoming exhibition, which included many independent hours as well as collaboration with another student and the assistant curators. I was lucky enough to see my project through to the end – helping display the material I’d gathered, witness the exhibition coming together and celebrate its opening. I also helped with various tasks as they arose – such as organising commission documents, using the TMS database for a location audit, helping return a loan, and assist with the set-up of a new app.”
What do you value most about your experience with the institution?
“I most appreciated being allowed to experience the whole process of an exhibition. From researching, to the hands-on work of putting it up for display, to hearing the artists describe their work on the exhibition opening day. The whole experience gave me such respect for the work and detail that goes into producing an exhibition.”
How has your work with mima enhanced your studies at York?
“My time at mima gave me the hands-on, practical experience of putting to work the theory and knowledge that my modules offered. Interacting directly with art objects was especially fun, as well as hearing artists describe their own work directly.”
Do you feel it has been helpful with career planning or improved your job prospects, and if yes, how?
"Definitely – even simple things like knowledge of TMS and experience handling loans is something I’ve since seen required on job applications. But more importantly, it gave me the opportunity to observe and experience many of the roles within an art institution and determine whether I would enjoy or be suited to any of them."
Would you recommend it to future students?
"Absolutely. My time spent at mima was never a detraction from my time studying and was even a welcome balance during the early days of developing my dissertation. If only to see if it’s not for you, it’s a very unique opportunity, fun and inspiring!"
Read about the experiences of other previous recipients of the mima Partnership Studentship:
Studentship applications are welcomed from all full-time students, and part-time students in their second year of study, on the MA in History of Art, or a related pathway degree, regardless of fee status (Home, EU or Overseas).
Please submit an enthusiastic personal statement of no more than 800 words which explains your interest in, and suitability for, this partnership opportunity. In particular, we will be looking for
You are advised to consult the information on this webpage, and the gallery’s own website, before you apply. Please email your personal statement to firstname.lastname@example.org by the deadline of 11am (BST) on Monday 21 October 2019.