1. How are you applying your degree in Art History from Concordia
The MA degree at Concordia gave me a broad knowledge of the history of art with a focus on the Canadian perspective. As a Senior Exhibitions Manager at the National Gallery of Canada, I draw on my knowledge of art history every day. I coordinate exhibitions, ranging in topics from historical European art to Canadian art and contemporary art to photography. Having a strong foundation in art history makes it possible for me to engage with these wide-ranging projects effectively. During my graduate studies, I enrolled in a course on museum studies and was the teaching assistant for an undergraduate museum studies class. These courses help me to understand the museums I’ve worked in within a broader historical and political context.
2. What do you value most from your Art History experience?
The opportunity to dedicate two years to the study of art history at a post-graduate level is something for which I am still grateful. Looking back it seems like a luxury that I was able to devote so much time to developing as an art historian and museum professional. I had an amazing group of peers and felt mentored by my professors. Living in Montreal presented many occasions to engage in art and culture, and there was no shortage of opportunities to get involved in the art world on and off campus.
3. Is there a particular memory that stands out from your time at Concordia?
We spent a day engaging in some ‘experimental archaeology’ in Dr. Jean Bélisle’s architectural history seminar. This involved a hard day’s work constructing a green-roof cabin on a property outside the city to see how the 17th-century citizens of Ville-Marie in might have done it. The day ended with wood-fired pizza and a camp fire. This assignment was one of the many opportunities that I had to really ‘dig’ into my research as a student, and it was also an ideal project for collaborative learning.
4. What advice would you give to someone considering graduate studies in Art History
My advice to someone who is considering graduate studies in Art History and is interested in a career in an art museum is to get involved. When I was a graduate student at Concordia, I was a research assistant and teaching assistant. I also worked at the FOFA Gallery and at the Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery at different times during my degree. I was involved with the Art History Graduate Student Association and served on the committee to coordinate the graduate student conference. In addition, I worked off campus at several art galleries in Montreal. A graduate degree can open a lot of doors for you in the museum and art worlds. Gaining additional practical experience in the field helped me to secure a museum position after graduation.