Tag Archives: intern

An Internship Farewell

25 Aug

Goodbyes are never easy, and this week at the Museum of Inuit Art (MIA) is no exception. The time has come for me to finish another summer of work here at the Museum of Inuit Art, and I must say, it’s just as difficult the second time.

As you can imagine, I’ve grown quite attached to the MIA. I never expected that I would get the chance to work here for two summers in a row, but I’m so grateful I did! Back in May 2014 when I started my first Young Canada Works position as Visitor Services Officer, I had a lot to learn about museum work. My knowledge has drastically increased since then, as I’ve had the opportunity to fill various roles during my time here, such as conducting a visitor evaluation, processing admissions at the front desk, giving tours and promoting MIA at local arts and culture festivals.

I would like to thank all the volunteers who helped out with all the out reach sessions we attended. It was so great to meet people who were interested in learning and sharing knowledge about art and history. It’s so inspiring to see community members giving back by lending their time and experience.

I would also like to thank all the visitors that came out to the programming – both on and offsite of the museum. It was great to put into practice what I had been developing behind the scenes. Through interactions and testing I was able to adapt some new activities and make them even better for the next group of curious museum seekers.

And last but not least I would like to thank MIA staff for welcoming me back, and for making this summer such a wonderful experience. I’ve learned even more about museum work and programming, and after venturing all over Toronto with our outreach team and special events volunteers, I’ve been able to see the museum from a different perspective. Bringing objects from MIA’s Educational Collection to Toronto Public Library branches and local events opened my eyes to the many outreach possibilities in the city, and I’m grateful to have been a part of that.

Even though I’m leaving at the end of another rewarding summer, I look forward to visiting the museum again soon – I’m especially excited for the Abraham Anghik Ruben exhibition this fall! I am so fortunate that I’ve been able to gain experience in my chosen field, and I couldn’t have asked for a better place to work. Thanks again, MIA!

gatsby

Posted by Serena Y., MIA’s Community Engagement Officer

Introducing Our New Community Engagement Intern!

14 May

IMG_4391

Hello, my name is Tom and I am the new Community Engagement Intern here at the Museum of Inuit Art! I’ve been volunteering as a docent with MIA since August 2014. As a docent, I have had many wonderful opportunities to gain community engagement experience and I’m hoping to expand on that during my internship. Aside from my public docent tours that lead visitors through popular themes in Inuit art, stylistic differences across the Canadian Arctic, and the various types of material used to create the art, I’ve also assisted with several special events – you may have seen me during March Break and Winterfest! I’ve also had the opportunity to deliver MAP Family Saturday programing where I’ve visited Toronto Public Library branches and brought out museum artifacts from the museum’s Educational Collection for Hands-On sessions, played traditional Inuit games and led art activities so visitors could bring their own piece of art back home. I’ve also been attending a Museum Management and Curatorship program at Fleming College over the course of the past year. This program helped me develop a solid foundation of knowledge upon which to build my museum experience. While the program involved all sorts of work including care of collections and exhibition development, I’ve always had a strong interest in working with the public. When I needed to seek out a placement for an Internship for the MMC program, the MIA stood out to me both due to my cherished experience with the museum as well as the fact that I knew it had a lot of community programing coming up over the spring and summer. I was very happy that the Museum was willing to host my internship, and am excited to have the opportunity to develop my skills during my time here. I am really excited to be a part of the MIA team, thanks for having me! – Posted by Tom E., MIA’s Outreach Intern

Introducing our new Collections Intern!

8 May
Taylor
Hi! My name is Taylor Maunder and I am excited to be the new Collection Management Intern.

 

I am currently a student at Georgian College’s Museum and Gallery Studies post-graduate program. I came into this program after starting my university career at the University of Ottawa as a Science student. It wasn’t until my second year there that I found, and fell in-love with, the university’s Classical Studies program. After switching programs midway through my second year, I found a little museum associated with the school, the Museum of Classical Antiquities. As a third year student I began volunteering there and soon began to love museum work, working up with objects so often left behind glass. So I decided to pursue a career in museum work.

 

And so I searched for an internship position which would allow me to working with a collection of objects that I found interesting and knew little about. This, of course, led me to the Museum of Inuit Art. I will be the Collections Management Intern for the next four months where I will be working beside Lauren Williams and the other staff of MIA to gain as much knowledge as I can! I hope to be gaining knowledge on current museum practices, applying some of my schooling, and of course learning about Inuit Art, the culture and the artists.

 

– Posted by Taylor M., MIA’s Collections Intern

A Final Farewell from Our Collections Management Intern

30 Apr

Four months has gone by incredibly fast for me here at the Museum of Inuit Art! It’s been exceptionally rewarding and informative and I believe that I have learned a considerable amount compared to when I first started in January as the Collections Management Intern. I’ve learned how to catalog and condition report, accession objects and how to move them safely around the museum. I have also how difficult it can be to put up exhibition text panels (it’s surprisingly time-consuming). I’m incredibly grateful to my supervisor, Lauren, for sharing with me her collections wisdom and prowess and providing me with a place where I could learn what’s required for a professional career in museum collections management. Who knew that box making could be a quantifiable skill? I certainly did not, but it’s one that I now have (and like to brag about).

Since the museum has pieces made from a variety of types of materials, I have been able to learn a lot about proper care and storage procedures for substances such as stone, ivory, bone and antler, materials I didn’t think I would ever work closely with. The collection here at the museum is both amazing and diverse and I’m so glad that I have been able to learn and work with the objects, mostly the carvings of arctic wildlife. I now have a particular fondness for all things narwhal and walrus, like this handsome guy by Joanassie Oomayoualook who’s just so chubby and adorable.

Joanassie Oomyoualook

[Walrus] by Joanassie Oomayoualook (1934- ), Inukjuk, stone, ivory, MIA Collection, 2013.4.24.

– Posted by Beth P., MIA’s Collections Managment Intern

Introducing Our New Collections Manager Intern!

13 Jan

Beth

My name is Beth Pufall and I am currently a student at Centennial College as part of the Culture and Heritage Site Management post-graduate program. I am pleased to join the MIA as the Collections Management Intern.

Having completed my bachelor’s degree in art history, I have a passion for art and culture and how they can be articulated through the museum experience. Already, I am enjoying learning about Inuit art, a subject that I have little experience with. Through my internship here at MIA, I am excited to immerse myself in the world of museum collections and gain knowledge about handling museum objects. Over the next four months I’m most looking forward to working with the objects in the MIA’s collection, which are both diverse and intriguing.

– Posted by Beth P., MIA’s Collections Manager Intern

Introducing Our New Development Intern!

13 Jan

Natasha A

Hi! My name is Natasha Ali and I am the new Development Intern at MIA.

After completing my undergraduate in history and art history at the University of Toronto, I decided to seek out a profession within the arts, culture and heritage industry. Currently I am attending Centennial College where I am working toward obtaining a post graduate certificate in cultural and heritage site management. I have been provided with a wonderful opportunity to join the MIA team for the next four months.

Working alongside Lindsay Bontoft, the Development Coordinator and Brittany Holliss, the Digital Assets Coordinator, I will be actively exploring new ways of seeking out prospective donors as well as increasing membership through the promotion of MIA’s collections and exhibitions. With a passion for connecting communities to their local arts and heritage institutions, I hope to generate support for the museum’s “Businesses Make MIA Free” program which will increase the public’s access to understanding Inuit art.

– Posted By: Natasha Ali, MIA’s Development Intern

Welcome Sofia!

9 Jun

MIA Communications and Marketing Intern standing next to her favourite piece.

Greetings everyone! My name’s Sofia and I’m so very pleased to announce my new position here as the Communications and Marketing Intern.

You may have seen me roaming around the museum already—I’ve been lucky to be a part of MIA for over a year as a docent and a member of the volunteer committee. My exposure to Inuit art during this time inspired a great desire in me to learn more and take on more responsibility here. I’ve recently graduated from UofT with a specialist degree in English literature, and hope to eventually apply my love of art and writing in a career in museums.

As the communications intern I will assist in the production of the next Inuit Art Magazine, write content for our monthly newsletters and design promotional material. I hope to apply my writing abilities, museological experience and enthusiasm to this position.

Cheers!

– Posted by Sofia Cutler: MIA’s Communications and Marketing Intern

Your Smartphone Summer Travel Tool

22 May

Wow! This past weekend sure was crazy here at the Harbourfront!
The Queen’s Quay Terminal building was full of families, couples, and anyone curious to see what we had in store for the holiday (and maybe take in some free air conditioning as well).

Here at MIA we were really happy to see kids getting creative at our craft table or excitedly pointing to our video screens and proudly announcing, “We’ve been there! We’ve seen that!”. And as a lot of my internship duties revolve around the use of new media and technology, I was particularly happy to hear the adults mention how they found our museum through smart phone apps.

    
Above: iPhone screenshots of Baffled by Travel’s “The Best of Toronto” (Version 1.6.3)
and BeeLoop’s “At a Glance” City Guide tour for Toronto (Version 3.3)

If my post about QR codes, and my sneaky hints pointing towards AR markers didn’t already give it away – I am really into tech. Not enough to start writing everything in binary code, but enough to read the work of Nancy Proctor while on the subway, or waiting for a friend, or in a coffee shop…

Currently I’ve been reading a book she’s edited featuring essays about how museums are using smart phones to achieve various exhibition goals, but as the above mentioned visitors have pointed out – these same smart phones are great for promotional and way-finding purposes as well.

   
Above: iPhone screenshot of GPSmyCity’s “Toronto Walking Tours and Map”

Now that vacation season is starting to pick up and people have more time to explore the city, it will be interesting (at least to me) to see HOW people have been planning their trips. The MIA has an interesting hurdle to overcome because we share our location with an entire mall. So when people look up 207 Queen’s Quay West, they find themselves amongst everything from shops to restaurants to our Inuit museum. One of my summer projects will be coming up with a way to easily direct people to our museum so visitors don’t end up thinking they’ve taken a wrong turn somewhere. Apps might be one direction we could go, but there are other options as well all of which I learn more about as I finish Nancy’s book.

Posted by: Brittany Holliss, MIA’s Educational Assistant

Happy International Museum Day!

18 May

ICOM 2012 Poster for International Museum Day: Museums in a Changing World

As an intern in the museum world, this celebration is pretty near and dear to my heart. Thanks to the good people at ICOM (the International Council of Museums), countries from across the globe have banned together since 1977 in order to raise awareness on the importance of museums.

And to show how awesome museums are, some places dedicate more than a single day to this event – they make a whole month of it!

You may have noticed that yesterday, the Twittersphere was full of answers to #museospark’s question, “What inspires you about museums?” That question was part of a run-up for IMD and we got some great responses like;

Using Twitter to lead into IMD was perfect considering this year’s event theme is entitled “Museums in a Changing World” and is all about museums and technology.

Today, the world is changing faster than ever. New technology delivers new ideas, gigabytes of information, news of an increasingly unstable climate, all shared by social media. Modern museums must compete for an audible voice against the furious pace of this background.

Museums in a Changing World is recognition that institutions are faced with interpreting, and existing in, a field that is becoming increasingly fluid. Each may face a unique set of goals, interests and audiences.    – ICOM

The MIA has certainly undergone some changes within the past year. In previous posts I’ve already written about our incorporation of social platforms like Pinterest, and explained how smartphone applications like QR code scanners are changing the way people interact with exhibitions. We’ve also used Skype and YouTube to record interviews with some of the Inuit artists we exhibit (since physical travel is not always possible). And the fact that you’re reading this on a blog is another example of our digital interests.

Those are only some of the projects we’ve completed and continue to work on – but it’s just the beginning. There are still a lot of tech surprises to come…

For instance, did you know that in the digital alphabet AR comes after QR?

What that means is once you’ve figured out how to scan all those crazy shaped QR squares, you’re ready to move to the next level: Augmented Reality (AR). Museums are just getting into this so similar to how it took a while for people to figure out how to best use QR codes, there will again be a lot of experimentation with AR.

While the MIA plays around with their computers and smartphones (stay tuned for an upcoming “What’s the deal with…AR blog post) you’ll have to wait a little longer to see the end results. But in the meantime we’re offering some special tours and fun stuff to ring in IMD. Oh, and did I mention that today admission is FREE! So come celebrate International Museum Day with us 🙂

Posted by: Brittany Holliss, MIA’s Educational Assistant

What’s the deal with… Pinterest

16 May

Last week I spoke a wee bit about how the MIA has incorporated QR codes into their exhibitions. This week I continued to explore some tech trends by finally succumbing to Pinterest.

As per my usual skeptical self, as soon as I heard that something was popular, I gave it a long hard stare and questioned everything about it. Hours later I’m beginning to see there might actually be something to all the hype, aside from the countless cute puppy photos.

For those of you who don’t know what this newfangled site is and why the number of followers has been exploding on a daily basis, here’s a quick summary from the Pinterest people:

Pinterest is a Virtual Pinboard.
Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes. Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.


Now you might be saying to yourself, “But Brittany, but why would MIA get a Pinterest account when they already have Flickr? What’s the difference?”

Great question, and pretty much the reason why I didn’t get a personal Pinterest account earlier.

The main thing I took away when dealing with that question is that Flickr is built around posting images you’ve created whereas Pinterest is built around sharing all types of content.

Pinterest isn’t limited to photos, it’s a collection of everything. So you could click on a photo of our Educational Coordinator, Alysa Procida, while she is speaking with an Inuit artist via Skype – and also see the actual video of her interview. Unfortunately, Flickr can’t do that.

And since Pinterest encourages sharing (or “repinning”) you can include the content other people have posted into your own collections (or “boards”). That’s pretty cool, especially for museums because a HUGE part of our mandate revolves around education. Through Pinterest, we can both inform the public about Inuit art, and show support for like-minded institutions all while maintaining professional courtesies (i.e not stealing the hard work of others) because the original links are automatically embedded in the pins.

Now that I understand the concept behind the site I’m starting to play around with our boards. A lot.
I foresee a Pintervention in my future…

Posted by: Brittany Holliss, MIA’s Educational Assistant