New National Gallery of Canada Art Conservation Internship Program to Increase Diversity in the Field

Four internships with a $ 25,000 scholarship each will be awarded

OTTAWA, ON, September 28, 2021 / CNW / – The National Gallery Canada (NGC) today announced the launch of a new NGC Conservation Internship Program for diversity dedicated to indigenous and black students, and students of other cultural communities from everywhere Canada.

Created and directed by the National Gallery of Canada, in collaboration with the Queen’s University Art Conservation Program and the Canadian Conservation Institute, the NGC Conservation for Diversity Internship Program aims to increase the representation of professionals from various communities.

The program is designed to provide the best possible start for students pursuing careers in conservation. It will allow them to develop a network with professionals in the field who have experience on which they can draw throughout their studies and their career.

This initiative allows four (4) students to benefit from the program before going to Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, to formally study art conservation as part of the master’s program. It is the only Conservation training in Canada at this level. Each trainee will be awarded a $ 25,000 stock Exchange.

“Like many professions in the museum field, curation is a discipline whose roots are firmly rooted in European tradition. Our field will benefit greatly from different perspectives from various fields of study and from different voices from various backgrounds and cultures, “said NGC Curatorial and Technical Research Director, Stephen gritt. “The National Gallery of Canada is happy to show leadership in this area and believes this project will lead to wider benefits. “

Interns have the opportunity to learn about some of the complexities of conservation and restoration work, including research, technical examination, and the historical and ethical dimensions of interaction with art and artefacts. From three to five months, they will be paired with various experts from the Gallery’s Restoration and Conservation Laboratory and will follow them in their daily work as observers. They will also be introduced to conservation science and broader issues of heritage preservation at the Canadian Conservation Institute, also in Ottawa.

The program started last June with a first intern, the Caribbean-Canadian Tirza Harris (she) from Kingston, Ontario.

“I am very lucky to have been able to spend my summer at the National Gallery of Canada, especially with COVID-19 restrictions that make it difficult to visit labs or gain experience prior to the program. I arrived at the Gallery without any practical curatorial experience. Although I have spent time attending webinars and conferences to gain general conservation education, the nature of this work means that the time spent in a laboratory is particularly educational, ”said internal Tirza harris. “This internship is a space open to exploration, which means I was able to arrive at the NGC every week and spend time chatting with the conservators to better understand the various aspects and issues of conservation. My time at the NGC Restoration-Conservation Lab gave me time to talk with restorers about their career paths and see how different specializations approach treatments can creatively solve problems. Conservation is fundamentally interdisciplinary and reaching out to all departments only strengthens my approach as an emerging conservator.

Tirza attended Bishops University where she obtained a BA Hons in Classical Studies with a focus on Classical Art and Languages, and a Double Minor in History and Religion. In her second year, she received a project fund to attend a mosaic school in Ravenna, Italy making mosaics with Byzantine materials and techniques. She then obtained a Masters in History and Philosophy of Religions at Concordia University, specializing in medieval Christian literature, art and ecotheology. After graduation Tirza worked at Mosaika Art & Design in Montreal, QC, working with smalti, ceramics and stained glass. She discovered the conservation of works of art at a young age and was initially discouraged from furthering her career, but encouragement from a colleague and the pleasure of working with mosaics made her reconsider. A pre-program intern in the Queens Painting Specialization, Tirza is interested in exploring various art forms and media. First a painter and mosaicist, she explored textiles, the ceramic tour, block printing and gilding.

The profession of art curator is a multidisciplinary field that combines the study of art and the history of mankind, physical sciences and the history of technology.

The Gallery produced a short video for students at the high school, college and university levels to introduce them to the field of cultural heritage conservation, which they may not yet have considered as a profession.

Students interested in pursuing a career as an art restorer who wish to learn more about the internship program can contact the Gallery at the following address: [email protected].

About curation at the National Gallery of Canada
The National Gallery of Canada has a big conservation department, with specializations in the fields of contemporary art, paintings and frames; sculpture and decorative arts; right down to prints, drawings and photographs. The team of restorers processes nearly 2,000 works each year, drawing on the vast national collection.

Useful links
About your National Gallery of Canada
About the National Gallery of Restoration and Conservation Laboratory Canada

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SOURCE National Gallery of Canada

For further information: For media only: Josée-Britanie Mallet, Senior Officer, Media and Public Relations, National Gallery of Canada, [email protected]; Denise Siele, Senior Director of Communications, National Gallery of Canada, [email protected]

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