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Enhance your understanding of art with a short course in curation and culture

  • Written byYusuf Tamanna
  • Published date14 May 2021

At UAL, the curation and culture short courses on offer are designed to effectively show students what it takes to put together a stand-out exhibition from the ground up. It’s also a chance for students to learn about the rich history of the art they’re consuming and how it can be a catalyst for change.

For Classical Civilization student Hannah Parker, attending the Principles of Collection Management Online Short Course offered by Camberwell College of Arts was an opportunity for her to complement her studies, as well as learn more about a topic she’s extremely interested in.

A photo of Hannah Parker smiling to the camera

“I’m passionate about the art of the past, especially the visual culture of the ancient world. This includes everything from sculptures, paintings and mosaics,” Hannah says.

Her passion is so evident that Hannah has her own YouTube channel where she discusses all things related to classics. The University of Nottingham, where she currently studies, has also enlisted Hannah to create vlogger content for the university’s YouTube channel. Hannah’s goal is to combat the inherent elitism in classical studies. By way of her YouTube channel, she hopes to make the topic more accessible to everyone.

“I took the Principles of Collection Management Online Short Course because I have always love museums and art and would love a career in this sector in the future.”

A thumbnail of a YouTube video Hannah Parker made about make up and ancient history

Meanwhile, for Barcelona based visual artist Eva Vazquez Abraham, art is everything. She can often be found working in her studio on personal projects with a focus on textiles or painting and drawing. Alongside collaborating with other artists and working on commissions, Eva is also an art teacher helping to inspire young children from the ages of 4 to 13 years old to develop their creative side.

It was while working on one of her projects that she got the idea to attend the Art, Ethics and Social Change Online Short Course with Central Saint Martins.

“I decided to do the course because I was inspired by a project that I developed in collaboration with other artists in 2019 where I was teaching textile art in the women's prison in Barcelona. I wanted to know more about how art could help to build a better World,” Eva explains.

Painted artwork by Joanna Skurzewska

Sharing Eva’s interest in how art can help improve people’s situations is, Joanna Skurzewska who also attended the Art, Ethics and Social Change Online Short Course. Joanna works as both a fine artist and a paralegal for Eversheds Sutherland law firm.

“I run my own portfolio of litigation, commercial and prosecution matters, and I provide support with commercial and construction contract preparation together with advising on public procurement matters. I also draw/paint/photograph and write a blog,” Joanna tells me.

While on the course, Hannah says she was able to learn about art in a completely different way. “I loved being able to develop practical skills in how to handle and collect art. The course helped me learn how different objects carry meanings and how these meanings can change and develop over time.”

Photo of Joanna Skurzewska facing directly to the camera while doing artwork at her desk

Eva’s greatest takeaway from her short course was being able to learn more about art on a global scale. “Discovering artists and projects that I didn’t know about and sharing the course with people from all over the world was really amazing,”

When asked if she could pin-point a particular aspect of the course she enjoyed the most, Eva candidly says she loved everything about it. “The teacher - Sara Shamsavari - was absolutely incredible!”

Hannah says she feels a lot more confident knowing what skills she needs to have to embark on a career within art preservation and art handling.

“The skills I developed have benefitted me as I know what is required to work in a museum. These in turn help my CV to stand out from a sea of applicants and have boosted my professional development!” Hannah adds that she's already been able to put these new skills into practice while on her internship with the Richmondshire Musuem and is able to get a real feel for what the day to day running of a museum would entail.

Artwork by Joanna Skurzewska done by paint

Painted artwork by Joanna Skurzewska depicting a pregnant woman on the ground surrounded by people

Since the course, Hannah has already been able to secure another internship where she hopes to continue applying her new skills in a real-world setting. “I have recently secured another placement at Erewash Museum starting in a few months. I one day hope to specialise further in ancient art and work in the heritage and cultural sector.”

With her newfound skills and confidence, Joanna says she’s been able to create a website to display all her fine artwork. She says the course also helped streamline her focus, so that now when she has an idea, she knows how to go about putting them into action.

Eva adds that her time on the course helped her immensely, especially when she was called upon to do a spot of public speaking.

“I had to give two online talks a few months ago. One was about my work with women in prison and the second about art in confinement and how art can help kids during the pandemic. I have been able to develop and express my ideas with greater consciousness, confidence and clarity thanks to the short course.”

Artwork by Joanna Skurzewska showing a woman in tights and boots laying to the side

Joanna says her short course experience was “worth every penny”, while Eva wouldn't hesitate to recommend others to do a short course.

“I would say do it!” Eva says. “It’s an amazing experience and now, in this difficult time, these wonderful courses are one of the most inspiring experience that we artists can have. I went to Central Saint Martins many years ago to do some courses in person at the college and I can tell you that the online courses are as good as the in-person courses.”

Looking back, Hannah says doing her short course was one of the best decisions she made in 2020 and would absolutely urge others to see what a short course can do for them.

“The whole experience was great! Thank you so much for providing this course! I look forward to coming back and studying further in the future!”

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Maybe you want to find out more about how a short course in curation and culture can start a meaningful conversation around art preservation and handling? Or perhaps your interests lay elsewhere entirely.

Our full collection of short courses offer students the opportunity to explore their creative passions with like-minded individuals while being taught by an industry expert.

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