Our most recent exhibition, A Source of Inspiration: St George’s as Seen Through the Bermuda National Gallery Collection, was curated by Alice Moniz as part of the BNG Internship Programme.
For the history of art graduate, who will shortly be going on to a second internship at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, the exhibition marked the culmination of a 3 month placement in which she shadowed the BNG team in all aspects of museum operations.
We caught up with Alice, who recently spoke to the Royal Gazette about her experience, to discuss what she learnt from the internship and why hands-on experience is key within the arts and culture sector.
BNG: You recently completed a 3 month internship programme with us after previously shadowing our curator for a week. How similar were your actual assignments to your expectations?
AM: I was involved with more than I had hoped for! I had expected to get a taste of various aspects of the organisation and help out in certain areas, however the range and depth of my involvement as an intern at the BNG exceeded my expectations. The way that I was treated as an active participant in the team – who was given responsibility and whose contribution was valued – also went beyond my expectations.
BNG: How did your experience provide information about your chosen field?
AM: My experience at the BNG was incredibly insightful and informative. Through the range of aspects I was exposed to – audience engagement, memberships, volunteers, planning and programming, the collections database, the storage rooms, the exhibition install – I feel I acquired a well-rounded understanding of a museum, and the national gallery as a cultural institution more broadly.
Having studied Art History much of my knowledge of the creative and cultural industries in general is very theoretical, so the real-life experience was incredibly informative, and I was able to make sense of many aspects of my degree.
BNG: What was the worst part of your intern experience?
AM: I wouldn’t say there was a worst part because these often turn out to be the most formative, and through measure of growth, the best. I would say the most challenging part was going out of my comfort zone doing tasks I’d never done before.
The most challenging tasks were giving a tour and curating the exhibition; being a bit of a perfectionist I knew these would not be perfect and was scared to mess up. The team was very supportive and kind with me and the open communication that they facilitated really helped me. Through these experiences I learnt valuable skills and developed a greater understanding of myself in a working environment and I am grateful for the challenges.
BNG: Would you recommend the Bermuda National Gallery Internship Programme to other students?
AM: Absolutely! It is a brilliant opportunity to integrate into and learn about the art and cultural scene of Bermuda, as well as the museum as an institution. It is also character-building and there is the scope for interns to find their strengths and weaknesses, whilst being challenged and supported.
The BNG Internship Programme focuses on providing on the job training to individuals between 18 and 25 in all aspects of museum operations. The programme’s goals are to provide paid opportunities for young people within the arts and culture sector and provide training and career development. Click here for further information.