Kelsey Black is a third-year Art History/Museum Studies student. Hired as a summer assistant in the uLethbridge Art Gallery on a Young Canada Works grant from the Department of Canadian Heritage, Kelsey has been asked to stay on part-time working on online public programming. Her experience doing online courses in the spring gave her new skills to assist the gallery as they moved their programming online, including offering children's summer camps, and researching in the prestigious gallery collection.
Why did you choose uLethbridge?
I chose uLethbridge when I saw some of my favourite words paired up—arts and internships. Learning by doing is a major competitive edge that makes a world of difference.
The fact that hands-on experience was a major feature put the programs here at the top of my list. I was ready to go anywhere in the country, and the best fit ended up being right in my back yard.
What is your most memorable uLethbridge experience to date? What are you looking forward to as you continue your education?
My absolute best memory so far was being hired on as a summer assistant for the university art gallery. That was the moment where it felt like I was finally on the right track. It could not have come at a better time for me, and it became the perfect matchup of classwork and experience. The gallery staff have given me chances to test my skills that would not have seemed possible in my first year.
My next shiny goal is to tackle internships. I’m ready to take the things I’ve learned and done to whatever place the program leads me. The university and gallery have built a foundation to show what I can do.
How have your professors impacted your education? Have any professors changed the way you view the world, or what you want to study?
Professors use their subject expertise to push students to their limits. It’s a bonus when they are as friendly as they are here and support journeying beyond the material. I’ve been lucky to have experienced lightbulb moments in classes with Josephine Mills, Ken Allan, Anne Dymond, and Devon Smither. Those are the moments that matter—the ones where an idea just clicks. I could never choose just one as pushing me in the right direction. The enthusiasm they show for their subjects has challenged me to push forward.
In light of COVID safety restrictions, how have you adapted to learning online?
Shifting online means adapting so many things that we don’t think about in person. I’m choosing to think of it as another way of looking at problems and how I can solve them—in learning, communicating, and getting involved. We’re all learning how to keep ourselves connected and organized.
What are your hopes/plans for the future?
I came into my program thinking I wanted to one day hide out somewhere quiet and think my way through the world.
Now I can’t imagine not interacting with people every day and sharing all the things about the arts that I find so amazing. I don’t know what form that sharing will end up taking, but whether its by research or programming, I’m going to be ready for it.
What advice would you give to students who are considering joining the uLethbridge family?
Get involved. Try something new. Go to office hours! Staying in your comfort zone can seem like the safe move, but taking a leap can change everything.