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Re: Apprenticeships

Pat Baldwin's post really spoke to me. I lurk on this list- I'm not a book
artist, a binder or a printer, although I do have a Chandler & Price treadle
platen press tucked away in the garage, with ambitions to start using it fairly
soon (in the gaps between earning a living, gardening two acres, raising a child
and maintaining a marriage ...). But I do work with artists books, and the book
arts, as Exhibitions Curator here at the National Library of Australia, and in
that role supervise one or two interns most years. Students from two courses in
art history and culrural heritage management at two nearby universities, they
spend up to two days a week working with me for a year or so, earning credit for
their degree programs and serving what is in many ways a short apprenticeship in
exhibitions work. I'm enthusiastic about taking on interns because I get such a
lot out of working with them. Above all, its an opportunity to reflect on my own
methods, and to bounce ideas for their improvement around with fresh,
enthusiastic minds. I am coming to the view that a healthy
internship/apprenticeship system is vital to the health of my profession, which
otherwise is in danger of ossification, no matter how skilful its practitioners.

****************************************        _________________
"Michael Richards"                               T T T T T T T T
mrichard@nla.gov.au                              I I I I I I I I
Exhibitions, National Library of Australia       I I I I I I I I
Voice: +616 2621127   Fax: +616 273 4493         T T T T T T T T

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