Adam Art Gallery receives generous donation for new curatorial internship programme

Adam Art Gallery has received a generous donation from local philanthropist Barbara Blake to establish a part-time paid internship.

Barbara Blake and Christina Barton
Barbara Blake with Adam Art Gallery director Christina Barton.

The internship will enable a recent graduate, postgraduate or early-career art professional to work with the Gallery to develop hands-on knowledge of curatorial practice and exhibition-making. It will be offered in 2018, and again in 2019 and 2020.

The intern will work alongside the team in the Adam Art Gallery office at Victoria University of Wellington’s Kelburn campus, with opportunities to undertake self-directed research as well as contribute to the Gallery’s activities.

Barbara said: “In my life, art is a source of discussion and debate, intellectual and spiritual nourishment, beauty and joy. I studied Art History at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London in the 1980s, and when I came home, I was lucky to get my first position at the National Art Gallery in Wellington. I learned on the job from those with more experience and expertise.

“I am so happy to be able to assist the Adam Art Gallery in establishing an internship so that young graduates, making the first steps in their careers, can learn from the talented and dedicated curatorial team headed by Adam Art Gallery director Christina Barton.

“For the recipient, a contested and paid internship will mean their work is valued financially as well as academically. I hope it will prove to be a pivotal time in their professional life. And long-term, I hope this programme will help strengthen curatorial practice in New Zealand.”

The internship will be advertised nationally and applications will be assessed by a panel, which will include the donor, Gallery staff and an external art professional with experience in curatorial work.

Christina says the selected candidate will “demonstrate they have the requisite skills and enthusiasm to contribute to our programme. They will work closely with us on a specific project so they learn a range of skills but also can enjoy a sense of achievement”.

Art History graduates will be given priority, however the internship is open to early-career art professionals and students of other relevant disciplines including museum and heritage studies, fine arts, visual and cultural studies. Candidates seeking to enrol in Master’s and PhD programmes at Victoria will also be considered.

The value of being an Adam Art Gallery intern will be long term. The intern will become one of a cohort acknowledged on the Gallery’s website and connected over time with other alumni. Their work at the Gallery will be acknowledged and remembered and can be used for future career development.

Applications for the internship close on Friday 15 December. Please contact Adam Art Gallery administrator Ann Gale for a role description and further information.