Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies

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MA Art Gallery and Museum Studies students collaborate with campus museum, galleries and archives

October 6th, 2017

Hayley Reid, MA Art Gallery and Museum Studies alumna

MA Art Gallery and Museum Studies students will be working with the museum, galleries and archives across the University of Leeds campus as part of one their core modules, Interpreting Cultures.

Over the autumn term, students develop interpretive projects to briefs set by The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, Treasures of the Brotherton, M&S Company Archive, ULITA ― an Archive of International Textiles and Leeds University Union. They will explore dimensions of developing and delivering a project from researching for interpretation, interpretative planning and marketing, through to audience research.

Helen Graham, Programme Leader for MA Art Gallery and Museum Studies, said:

Interpreting Cultures is an action learning module. The students work in small groups to develop and deliver an interpretative project. Along the way, they are not only learning about core interpretive and curatorial skills but also reflexively exploring the ethical and political dimensions of their emerging professional practice.

“Students are also thrown together with new people from different cultures and backgrounds and are supported to develop participatory ways of working together. At the end of term we organise a big celebration to mark their achievement.”

Marie Hartley: A Glimpse of Yorkshire. Artwork by Jacob Bennett 2016, Inspired by Marie Hartley’s style and work.Layla Bloom, Curator at The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, said:

‘‘It’s a pleasure to work with the MA Art Gallery and Museum Studies students. Every year, they impress us with their enthusiasm and creativity, and bring new ideas to the Gallery space.”

Iheanyichukwu Onwuegbucha, currently Associate Curator at the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos, took the Interpreting Cultures module as an MA student in autumn 2016 with the M&S Company Archive. He said:

“It was very exciting working on a real project, with a real company, as a student. It has been an enriching experience meeting deadlines and corporate standards all within the first month of starting the MA course. I think this is the true definition of ‘learning on the job’.”

Last year’s MA Art Gallery and Museum Studies students said in their course feedback:

“The module was really practical. It helped me to combine the theory I learned from textbooks with practice. It is so useful.”

“The most engaging learning experience I had my whole life.”

“Great practical experience mixed with theoretical contexts and a great opportunity to make friends.”

Poster for Creating Communities, 2016“The module had a group-orientated, student-centred learning style that covers a broad range of museums issues and practices.  It had a very good balance of both academic and practical work that enhances learning and a great start to the MA.”

If you would like to follow the progress of this year’s students keep an eye out for their exhibitions on our website events pages and via Twitter: #InterpretingCultures2017.

The celebration event will be on Thursday 7 December from 4.00 to 8.00pm. More news on this once the students have decided what form this will take.

Images from top: Hayley Reid, a former MA Art Gallery and Museum Studies student in The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery; exhibition posters for Marie Hartley: A Glimpse of Yorkshire and Creating Communities: The Secret Life of Sculpture, two of the Interpreting Cultures projects in 2016.

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