Friday 19 July 2013
For the next week and a half, the Auckland Art Gallery and partner AUT has invited 12 young adults, ages 16-18, into the Gallery for an intensive internship centered on all aspects of gallery life. They will be asked to pose a question about an area they find interesting, which will then be answered through the medium of a short 3-minute film. The internship is a chance for the high school students to gain professional knowledge of where an interest in the arts can lead and also practical aspects of university life: teamwork, tight time frames, and the development of new skills.
Gallery Educators Selina Anderson and Vivien Masters will be in charge of the interns and the program, while four AUT students will take on the role of media mentor to the interns, including myself. I am here to document the process. All currently studying towards a Bachelor of Creative Technologies, we are here to help manage the interns, encourage goal development and knowledge of technical skills, as well as documenting the entire process.
The internship kicked-off with a quick introduction, read through of the program and a tour of the behind-the-scenes Gallery spaces. The interns had the opportunity to meet some of the staff members who have kindly agreed to be interviewed in the films, get a feel of the Gallery spaces and an idea of how much work goes into bringing an exhibition to life. A highlight of the tour was the Gallery’s print archive room where we were shown two old prints, and told about the process of conservation.
From meeting various members of the Gallery staff, there seemed to be clear messages of do what you love, stay persistent and don’t let other people stop you from perusing your interests. All of the interns come from different backgrounds but are in similar situations; what to do after the safety of school is over? Where can my interests in art lead me? These messages were positive as they came from people who had already faces prejudice towards the art fields and who have over come them.
After a yummy lunch, goal setting and team building took up the majority of the afternoon. Everyone chose at least three goals, highlighting areas to improve on and ways to develop new skills. Most of the teens haven’t worked with any aspects of film before so a lot of the goals centered on this, and all of the teens seemed to be extremely motivated and excited about this project. We chose the groups from the goal sheets, placing together people who had different goals from what they wanted to gain from this experience that can lead into different roles within the group being filled (e.g. development of technical film making skills, leadership, or research and idea developments).
‘This internship is a way for the Gallery to interact with the ‘youth’ audience in Auckland, an area that has always been hard to engage’, Meg Nicoll, the Community Learning Coordinator, says. It is an exciting response to this problem, not only because it allows teens access into Gallery spaces normally hidden from the public view but also due to the involvement of AUT. The teens are at that point in life where they’re starting to think about what they want to study or do at university. By inviting mentors from AUT the interns have access to first hand information on university life. They will be working closely with these mentors, who will help them to develop and produce their films, from the ideas stage to the editing.
The internship will run from the 15–22 July, concluding with a screening of the raw films for Gallery staff next Tuesday. Post-internship, there will be a screening which family and friends are invited to come and view the polished films.