Work Experience with an Art History Student

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As part of my Art History degree at Plymouth University, I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to take a module that included a work experience placement. As this module was new to the Art History curriculum this year, I was quite nervous about the overall experience, as I had no one to get some hints and tips from! When I found out I was going to be working at Plymouth Arts Centre I realised that there was nothing to worry about. After visiting Plymouth Arts Centre on numerous occasions (for my degree and general interest), I knew that working there would be both enjoyable and beneficial.

The tasks that I undertook whilst working at Plymouth Arts Centre varied, however all more or less related to the Ellard and Johnstone Exhibition (28th March – 10th May) titled Everything Made Bronze. As I started my work placement at the end of October 2014 this gave me plenty of time before the opening of the exhibition to conduct research and collect resources to run alongside it. Research included looking into Ellard and Johnstones’ previous work for the past twenty years and also looking at the history of Film and Video Umbrella. Working on this exhibition also meant that the university could get involved with regards to providing resources (such as books for the public to read alongside the exhibition).

Along with research I also created a poster to be displayed in schools to encourage children to visit the exhibition, a flyer to promote a workshop and also attended talks and opening events. Skills were also developed including working with photoshop and even using a Mac computer. Being quite a shy person, my confidence within the work place also progressed and this was predominately due to everyone at Plymouth Arts Centre making me feel at ease.

With only approximately four people taking the ‘Working with Art History’ module, I am incredibly happy with my decision to go ahead and complete it. Having several months work experience behind me in a well established art institute in Plymouth will definitely benefit me in the future when I’m unleashed into the real world and have to find a job!

Katie Palmer 

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