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Learning on the Job

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The last five months, since I started as Creative Wiltshire Exhibition Assistant Trainee, have been a whirlwind of new experiences. The most important thing I have learnt is the reality of what goes into making an exhibition. A lot of the organisation was previously unknown to me, such as how to loan pieces from other institutions, how to plan out the space, and the administration necessary to make the exhibition a reality. This role has really opened my eyes to the roles of exhibition officers and curators, and has taught me a whole host of new skills.

I have really enjoyed how hands on much of the work has been. Not only have I learnt how to correctly handle many different types of art work but also how to transport them properly. I have acquired knowledge about DIY as I had to paint and hang the exhibition, so I can now safely say that I am a dab hand with a drill.

It was also brilliant to be given the freedom to make an exhibition where the creative decisions were my own. I was able to become a curator, selecting artworks, the design and the story I wanted to tell. I also researched artists and their work, which allowed me to find out much more about creative people in Wiltshire. Writing the accompanying exhibition text was also very useful as it meant I was able to practice writing for a general audience.

The experience has been extremely helpful for me, especially in terms of my future career plans. After I finish my PhD I would like to work in the museum and heritage sector, hopefully as a curator or exhibition officer. My time at Salisbury Museum will massively help me to make this dream a reality as it has given me unparalleled experience of what working in this area is like whilst, providing me with the practical skills necessary to pursue this career.

Although I was thrown in at the deep end, I think I quickly took on the challenge, and really enjoyed making an exhibition that I would want to go and see.


Emily Smith


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Why not visit Salisbury Museum to see Creative Wiltshire?

Emily, you have done a fantastic job and we are proud of you!


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