Scarlett Campbell, previous recipient of the mima Partnership Studentship, found her time at mima provided her with a unique learning experience on the practicalities of working within a gallery which has directly influenced her career plans.
What are you currently working on?
"I'm currently working on two projects. The first involves writing interpretation for the collection. This will be a highly valuable resource for mima once it's complete as it will allow the public to better access work held in the collection. The other project is to create a body of research on the themes relevant to mima's future programme, which will be used as an information guide for both staff and visitors."
What experiences would you say have been most useful or unexpected?
"What I've found most unexpected is discovering how much work it takes to put on an exhibition! On my first full day artworks were continually arriving from Tate St. Ives for a show. One piece was transported in a vehicle too large for the car park and so the entire team had to balance an enormous (and very valuable) canvas on a tiny dolly and wheel slash carry it into the gallery - much to the amusement of people passing by."
Who do you work with and how does the institution make use of you?
"I work closely with the curatorial team at mima, which has allowed me to get involved in many different aspects of the gallery. I've been set a number of longer term projects which means I can organise my own schedule at the gallery - this also frees me up for any adhoc tasks at the gallery, from invigilating to documenting works to getting involved with their streetwise opera workshop - no two weeks are the same."
What do you value most about your experience with the institution?
"I really value the opportunity to hear artists speak about their own work. Since working with mima I've had the chance to hear two artists talk on the work that they're exhibiting at the gallery. It gives a really fantastic insight into their practice, and for those with an interest in contemporary art it's an invaluable experience to be able to hear about the artworks in such a primary and engaging way."
How has your work with mima enhanced your studies at York?
"Having access to the work in mima's collection has provided a great source of inspiration for my dissertation project. As part of writing interpretations it has allowed me to research works in the permanent collection which I didn't know mima owned - they have a really great collection of modern and contemporary art, particularly of British and American artists, which has brought a variety of different artists to my attention, and changed the course of my dissertation topic - for the better."
Do you feel it has been helpful with career planning or improved your job prospects, and if yes, how?
"Absolutely - before I started my MA in History of Art and the partnership at mima I was sure that I wanted to pursue further postgraduate study after completing my masters. However, I've reassessed this since working at mima, and after finishing my degree I would really like to get more involved in education and outreach - mima have a fantastic education team, and as an art historian I am always interested in the ways art can be disseminated. I would still like to pursue postgraduate study, but my time at mima has really made me appreciate the ways in which a degree in History of Art doesn't necessarily restrict you to academia."
Would you recommend it to future students?
"I would definitely recommend applying for the partnership! My time at mima has been invaluable and has fully complemented my MA programme, while at the same time providing a unique learning experience on the practicalities of working within a gallery."