Coming Soon: the 2014 Blumhardt Internship

Author: Courtney Johnston, Director
In conjunction with the Blumhardt Foundation and Creative New Zealand, we’re delighted to make a pre-Christmas announcement...

We will be taking applications for the seventh Blumhardt/Creative New Zealand Curatorial Internship in January 2014.

The internship is an opportunity for an emerging curator to create an exhibition for our programme to be presented in the Blumhardt Gallery. As the intern, you’ll work with The Dowse team to develop and present your exhibition, and also work on other projects along the way, to widen your experience and learn new skills.

Installation view of Alvie McKree’s work in Ane Tonga’s Everyone Talks To Everyone

Installation view of Alvie McKree’s work in Ane Tonga’s Everyone Talks To Everyone

Our past interns include Ane Tonga (2012) who presented Everyone Talks To Everyone, Lily Hacking (2011) who presented A View From Where I Was Sleeping and Reuben Friend (2008-09) who presented Plastic Māori.

Installation view of Lily Hacking’s A View From Where I Was Sleeping

Installation view of Lily Hacking’s A View From Where I Was Sleeping

Our current intern is Emma Ng, whose exhibition Everyday Fiction opens on February 22. I asked Emma a few questions about her experience to date:

Why did you apply for the internship?

There is a lot about galleries and museums that remains mysterious to most, and can only be learned from within. Looking back, a curiosity about these inner workings is probably what motivated me to apply for The Dowse’s Blumhardt Internship. After finishing my Design and Art History degrees, and a long summer working the floor at the Auckland Art Gallery, I still knew so little about the development of exhibitions and exhibition programmes. This internship seemed the perfect opportunity to discover the answers to all these questions.

What do you remember about the application process?

I don’t remember much about the application process, except that I wrote a very bright-eyed cover letter which probably stretched the limits of how much can be compacted into one page. Researching artists and cobbling together a small proposal made the interview a lot of fun to prepare for – it felt a lot like I was playing at being a curator, in the same way that I played librarian or teacher as a child.

And what’s the internship experience been like?

Since starting at The Dowse in May this feeling of playing at the role has ebbed away as I have learned all the things I hoped I would – and so much more. A lot of what I now know about the day-to-day of being a curator has been picked up by observation, working alongside Dowse curators Emma Bugden and Sian van Dyk, who are both amazing at what they do. One of the most rewarding things about curating a show has been the opportunity to develop relationships with artists, something Emma and Sian do so well. Other discoveries, such as how much I enjoy the more mundane aspects of project management, have been a surprise, but welcome surprises nonetheless!

Applications open January 2014

We will post the advertisment and job description for the internship on 8 January, and appolications will close on 29 January.

The internship is a paid opportunity, and the intern usually works part time (two-three days a week) for eight or nine months, culminating in their exhibition opening in February 2015. Our anticipated start date is May 2014, though this will be negotiated with the successful candidate.

Please share the news around!

Courtney Johnston, Director

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