National Gallery continues internship programme
Elena Fear had become the tenth young Caymanian to graduate from the Deutsche Bank National Gallery Internship programme.
Ms Fear recently completed the year-long intensive training programme at the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands (NGCI), which is designed to give local art students the opportunity to learn about museum and gallery management and to gain professional experience in the field.
The Internship begins by covering many aspects of gallery and museum work – including education, collections management, exhibition design, fundraising, public relations, membership, volunteer services and administration – before specialising in a specific area. Interns also have the unique opportunity to work directly with exhibition curators and to curate their own exhibition as their end-of-year project.
Thanks to Deutsche Bank’s annual support for the programme, the Intern also receives a full training level salary and benefits.
Ms Fear joined the NGCI in September 2012 with an interest in the History of Art and Classical Civilization. During her first few months she focused on learning about the different areas of the Gallery but quickly found a special affinity with the Education Department and its broad programme schedule. She said:
“I realised from early on that I really wanted to work in education. The NGCI tailored the training programme to enable me to work within the context of the Education Department. I was given the chance to assist with teaching and developing programming materials, all with the support of experienced team members, before eventually designing my own programme for toddlers. I’ve also curated an exhibition, worked in office administration, supervised classes and organised education events. Importantly, this opportunity has given me the opportunity to work outside of my comfort zone, develop new skills and identify areas that I didn’t know I had a natural aptitude for. I am very good at working with children, a skill I didn’t know I had!”
Ms Fear has now secured a place teaching art to children at Camana Bay’s new Starfish Village and hopes to engage in a teacher-training course, with a specialisation in art, in the near future.
She added: “My career aspirations are now very different from those of a year ago, all thanks to the Deutsche Bank National Gallery Internship. I now plan on gaining a degree in Child Development and Education so that I can continue to pursue a career working with infants, entwining education with the arts. In five years’ time I hope to have gained my degree, which will add context to and support my experience of working with children, and enable me to secure an Education Coordinators position within a reputable organisation.”
Her advice to future applicants of the Deutsche Bank National Gallery Internship would be to stay open minded.
“If you are an applicant who, like myself a year ago, was undecided on what career they want to pursue, this internship allows you to find various paths, skills, strengths and weaknesses along with opening many doors and opportunities. The Deutsche Bank National Gallery Internship is an incredible opportunity – seize every opportunity and make it count. The internship is only a year, which isn’t at all long, but in this short time you will learn so much you won’t know where the time went!”
Globally, Deutsche Bank is an ardent supporter of contemporary artists from different cultural circles and opens up the world of contemporary art through its own substantial collection of more than 50,000 pieces displayed in its offices around the world, through it exhibitions and joint projects with partners such as the National Gallery in Cayman. Janet Hislop, Chief Country Officer of Deutsche Bank (Cayman) Limited, explains why this programme remains so important for the bank:
“Over a number of years now, Deutsche Bank has formed a particularly positive relationship with the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands, a partnership that really resonates with our belief that there is a synergy between artistic creativity and business success. It is hugely encouraging that in its tenth year the programme continues to play such an important role in opening up exciting opportunities for local people who have a passion for the arts. We commend Elena for making the most of the experience and look forward to watching her career develop.”
Former Deutsche Bank National Gallery Interns include Josephine Shibli, Jaime Doak, Letitia Davis-Eden, Ariana Eden, Anne-Marie Gray, Stephen Nickelson, Kerri-Anne Chisholm, Latrese Haylock and Joe Roberts.