Five Minutes With... / UQ Community

University art museums and the meeting of creative minds

“We have an opportunity to be the most creative learning environment on the planet. In a university environment everyone is interested in knowing ‘why’ – it can test and stimulate learning and cause us to think deeply – it’s all possible here.”

– Dr Campbell Gray, Director, UQ Art Museum

UQ Art Museum Director Dr Campbell Gray with students

UQ Art Museum Director Dr Campbell Gray with students

As a university art museum located within a major Australian research and teaching university, UQ Art Museum is spoiled for choice when it comes to groundbreaking research and ideas from which to draw. Research of UQ has the potential to fuel the exhibitions and public programs, but how does UQ Art Museum engage the talent on its doorstep and create a space that makes campus life more inspiring for students? We asked UQ Art Museum Director Dr Campbell Gray for his thoughts…

UQ Art Museum on student life…
It’s a great privilege to be part of university students’ lives at a time when many are making the biggest decisions about their futures. We hope UQ Art Museum helps them to construct a sense of themselves and their place in society through culture and art. Our program aims to provoke enquiry and challenge assumptions, encouraging students to be more perceptive and socially aware. UQ Art Museum really is a welcoming space for contemplation and reflection, where students can experience the UQ Art Collection and be inspired to learn in an environment that truly enriches campus life.

On providing professional development for students…
In recent decades, art museums have been growing in scale and number and their administrators are increasingly looking for innovative and experienced employees. UQ Art Museum provides professional experiences for students seeking careers within the visual arts industry – as the curators, art historians, educators, administrators, museum preparators and registration professionals of the future. Through paid casual work, internships and placements, volunteer opportunities, and mentoring, we help UQ students gain an edge and become highly competitive as they enter the industry.

On working with the academic community…
Education is at the heart of everything we do, so from the moment ideas for our exhibition program begin to develop, we’re thinking about applications to disciplines across campus and academic engagement opportunities. Often the programs we present are the result of collaboration with researchers or centres of excellence on campus, and together we can help ‘publish’ or extend research ideas through art and conversations, ask penetrating questions, and challenge assumptions and conventions.

Our curators provide exhibition tours to classes when the subject matter is relevant to their studies and our public programs drill down into deeper issues surrounding the themes of exhibitions, resulting in broad appeal well beyond the arts. The more we can use works of art to facilitate learning across multiple disciplines, the better we are doing our job.

Get involved with your UQ Art Museum

Keen to find out more? Drop by to see us at the Art Museum 10.00 am – 4.00 pm, email us or call us (07) 3365 3046!

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