Meet our Summer Students

BNG Internship Programme

The past few months have been busy behind the scenes at the gallery and we would like to extend a big thank you to our three summer students who have helped our small but dedicated team navigate several large projects. Eanajah Armstrong, Katherine Grainge and Gabrielle-Hadassah Reid recently wrapped up a 10 week placement with the Bermuda National Gallery.

Eanajah and Katie joined us as part of the BNG Internship Programme, generously sponsored by Zurich Bermuda (a member of the Zurich Insurance Group), while Gabby joined us as part of the Ministry of Labour’s Department of Workforce Development summer employment programme.

The BNG Internship Programme provides paid opportunities for young people within the arts and culture sector and on-the-job training in all aspects of museum operations.

We sat down with Eanajah, Katie and Gabby, who each assisted different team members on a variety of projects, to find out what they have been working on, the most interesting part of their internship and what surprised them most about working at the Bermuda National Gallery.

Eanajah Armstrong

A graduate of the Berkeley Institute, Eanajah Armstrong recently completed a two-year Liberal Arts Programme at the Bermuda College. Having previously worked as a Camp Counselor at Allen Temple and as a student volunteer in Delhi, India, as part of the Bermuda Overseas Missions, Eanajah will be returning to Bermuda College at the end of the month to further her studies with a focus psychology. She plans to work in art therapy when she graduates.

Eanajah works on the installation of In Dark Seas: Swimming With Sea Butterflies in the BNG Project Space

BNG: What have you been working on during the internship?

EA: One time I was going through my emails when I came across the Bermuda National Gallery newsletter. Honestly, it was my first time receiving the newsletter since I had recently joined. I remember reading this ad notifying the public about a possible internship opening. In the next minute, I was sending an email requiring the information for the position. Little did I know that in a few months I would be selected for the programme.

When I applied for the internship I had no clue what I was getting into, but it has proved to be one of the best decisions I have ever made, to say the least. During my three months here, I have been engaged in various projects including exhibition installations, stocking and reorganizing storage spaces, researching information and other errands. Overall, I have really enjoyed being able to assist with creating a functional and spacious environment for the staff at BNG.

BNG: What does a typical day at the gallery look like for you?

EA: Running a museum is not an easy job, there is so much that goes on behind the scenes that many people do not know about. Many see the art on the wall but forget to acknowledge the ones that put it there. I am glad that I was able to be a part of a team that works seamlessly together and also does so much for the community. 

In addition, I was able to lend a hand with the Art & Tech Camp that was hosted by BNG this summer. In this camp, kids were not only able to learn a new skill but were also able to create works of art that they could call their own. 

BNG: What has been the most interesting part of your internship and why?

EA: Have you ever sat alone with art? It’s a different kind of peace, a peace that I was able to experience every day at the gallery. As you can probably guess, my favorite part of working at the gallery is the art. Unlike social media, you can’t choose what type of art you are exposed to. Being able to engage with and admire art pieces that I wouldn’t normally look at was amazing. As an artist, being surrounded by so much art has given me the inspiration to chase my dreams and hope that one day I may see my own work on a museum wall. 

BNG: What has surprised you most about working at BNG?

EA: The museum’s office doesn’t have walls, it has books. People should not be looking for information on the internet but museums instead.  If humans could swim in knowledge, the average person would drown in the knowledge that Bermuda National Gallery holds. 

BNG: Has your internship been helpful?

EA: I was asked if I would recommend this internship to someone else and the answer is yes, of course. If your passion is art, this is the place for you. If you love books and information, this is the place for you. If you love new experiences, this is the place for you. Every day is an adventure here; you don’t know what you will find or who you will meet, but what I can tell you is that you won’t regret it. 

Katherine Grainge

Katherine Grainge is currently studying Art History at the University of St Andrews, having been awarded a four-year scholarship by the Bermuda Ministry of Education. The BHS graduate, who previously worked at BUEI as a Camp Assistant and has volunteered at the Bermuda National Trust for several years, hopes to return to Bermuda to work in the heritage sector when she graduates.

Katie assists with research for The Bermuda Biennial: A Retrospective, A Selection from the BNG Collection which opens in the Watlington Room in October.

BNG: What have you been working on during the internship?

CG: Some of my work has involved helping to prepare for BNG’s new exhibitions, The Shadow Land: Cape Dorset Prints from the Bacardi Collection and In Dark Seas: Swimming with Sea Butterflies. This has entailed tasks like setting up potential layouts for the gallery spaces, photographing the artworks, and finalizing the exhibition text. It has also been very exciting to help add the finishing touches in the exhibition installations, such as putting up wall labels and setting out catalogues.

I’ve also been researching content for BNG’s future educational materials, including profiles and information on the artistic styles of prominent Bermudian artists. I’ve helped form prospective ideas for teaching activities that focus on the work of these artists.

Another research project has involved exploring the history of the Bermuda Biennials, starting from the first exhibition in 1994. It has been really interesting to look into the gallery’s archived material to find elusive information on the early biennials. I’ve found that many artists whose work was shown in recent exhibitions have actually been participating from the very beginning, exhibiting their wonderfully innovative art in numerous Biennials.

BNG: What does a typical day at the gallery look like for you?

CG: In the morning, I usually start by re-stocking the supply of catalogues for an exhibition if there aren’t enough, and then carrying out any administrative tasks that need to be done. I’ll then continue working on a research project, which will often involve digitizing physical files on previous BNG exhibitions or artists whose work has been shown at the gallery. Later in the day I’ll help with preparing the gallery space for an exhibition, which might involve measuring the dimensions of the artwork that will be displayed as well as photographing the pieces to document their condition before the exhibition. I might then assist in preparing for the installation of the artwork, which involves measuring out the dimensions of the pieces on the wall and marking the points where the frames will be hung. This is always at least a two-person job, especially if you’re measuring the width of an entire wall.

BNG: What has been the most interesting part of your internship?

CG: Working ‘behind the scenes’ at the gallery has allowed me to observe the process of exhibition planning, which has been extremely interesting. I was previously unfamiliar with the techniques that gallery curators use, but during the internship, I’ve learned about how you can curate an exhibition by developing an evolving pathway of themes, with groups of artworks that centre on different ideas. I now have a good grasp of how curators decide which artworks should be paired or grouped in an exhibition space – for example by making sure the styles or perhaps the media of the art are aligned.

BNG: What has surprised you most about working at BNG?

CG: I was surprised that I gained equal knowledge of – and exposure to – both historical and contemporary Bermudian art. Past and present artists and artistic movements were very closely associated in the projects I was working on. For example, some of my research on the biennials involved looking into the jurors of the 1994 Biennial, one of whom was the late local philanthropist Geoffrey Elliott. He was evidently closely involved with contemporary art, but my research into his work was also directed at early Bermudian portraiture, as he and his wife Fay donated two valuable 18th century portraits to BNG. I find these associations really fascinating.

BNG: Has your internship been helpful? In what ways?

CG: My internship has been immensely helpful and valuable. I’m now confident working in an art institution and I’ve gained numerous skills in various branches of the gallery’s operation, such as research, installation and administration. The internship has also given me the opportunity to observe the different roles of the gallery’s staff members and gain knowledge of approaches to curation, programming and educational engagement. My career plan is to work in an art gallery or museum and I’m sure I would feel very capable working for an institution like BNG in the future. 

BNG: What are you going to do next?

CG: In September I’ll be starting the second year of my Art History degree at the University of St Andrews. I hope to relate the knowledge I’ve gained this summer of historical and contemporary Bermudian art to the research I’ll be doing for my course.  I also intend to do some volunteer work for a museum in St Andrews, so that I can continue to gain work experience in the extremely fascinating heritage sector.

BNG: Would you recommend the internship to anyone else?

CG: I would definitely recommend the internship to others interested in the arts or cultural sector, because you’re able to undertake a really critical role in the realization of all the gallery’s exhibitions and other projects. Being so involved in gallery operations means you learn in great detail about little-known practices, as well as the essential mindsets and approaches that you should have when working in an art institution.

Gabrielle-Hadassah Reid

Gabrielle-Hadassah Reid assisted Education Officer Rehana Packwood with the day to day running of the BNG Art + Tech Summer Camp Programme. The Bermuda College student, who joined BNG as part of the Ministry of Labour’s Department of Workforce Development summer employment programme, graduated from Somersfield where she was the first Bermudian chosen to attend the At The Well Conference at Princeton University. Gabby will be returning to Bermuda College in September to complete her Associates in Arts and Science and then plans to continue her education overseas.

Gabby at work in the Art + Tech Summer Camp programme which teaches students, age 11 to 14, a variety of digital art making techniques.

BNG: What have you been working on during the internship?

GR: During my internship I have been assisting with the Art + Tech Summer Camp!

BNG: What does a typical day at the gallery look like for you?

GR: Funnily enough, a typical day in the gallery doesn’t take place in the gallery at all! We are usually over at our satellite station in Washington Mall, teaching kids about the foundations of animation, digital art or photo editing. The day is full of exercises and projects for the kids to do, and we assist them with any questions they might have. We also make sure to take some breaks to allow them to have some fun. Some of our learning also takes place outside, when we have them take pictures for projects and to give them some inspiration.

BNG: What has been the most interesting part of your internship?

GR: I think that the most interesting part of my internship would definitely be working hands on with the kids and co-creating art with them! I love to sit down, grab an iPad and follow along and do the projects with them. It’s so much fun and has helped rekindle my love for art, too.

BNG: What has surprised you most about working at BNG?

GR: I think something that really surprised me was how welcoming the staff was and how easy it was for me to get situated. I think this was because they helped answer any questions I had and were just very supportive. I’m also surprised about how small the team is, and that really makes me appreciate the work they do to make sure that Bermuda’s art is seen and appreciated.

Something that also surprised me was the talent that these kids have! It’s amazing to see the works that they can produce when they are given the right tools and encouragement! I really hope that many of them continue to foster their love for art. I would be interested to see where it takes them.

BNG: Has your internship been helpful?

GR: This internship has been helpful in terms of learning how to work with kids and effectively use my communication skills! The internship has also been good at helping me learn how to think on my feet and improve my teamwork skills. I was always in constant communication with my fellow interns and helpers, I learned from them as well and we helped each other out.

BNG: What are you going to do next?

GR: Currently I am going to finish my degree at Bermuda College, which is currently in psychology. After that I will continue my education overseas. I am excited for the journey and where it takes me!

BNG: Would you recommend the internship to anyone else?

GR: I would, because I feel like it’s a great environment filled with welcoming and warm people, who are passionate about their love for art. Even if you aren’t an artist yourself, there is still a place for you, and you’ll have the support you need to hit the ground running.

I would like to thank BNG again for this opportunity to work with them! I had such a wonderful time and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

For further information, and to apply for the BNG Internship Programme, please email Executive Director Peter Lapsley at