June 17th, 2024

Galt curator highlights importance of community engagement

By Ry Clarke - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on January 14, 2023.

Herald photo by Ry Clarke Galt Museum curator Tyler Stewart spoke to a University of Lethbridge ArtNow audience this week about his current research focus and the role it plays with the Galt's new exhibit, The Politics of Sound.

Now this sounds interesting.

Looking to bridge the connection between academics and careers in art-related fields, Galt Museum curator Tyler Stewart spoke to an ArtNow audience Wednesday at the University of Lethbridge about his current research focus and the role it plays with the Galt’s new exhibit, The Politics of Sound, on display until May 7.

Stewart is an interdisciplinary artist, curator, and scholar whose current research focuses on the role of sound within the ongoing structure of settler colonialism in Canada, and how artists use sound as a form of resistance and refusal against imbalances of power.

“I think this ArtNow program is a really great way to engage with the University community and an opportunity for cultural organizations in the city to work together and to collaborate,” said Stewart. “It is exciting to be able to engage with the students who are part of the program, but also getting a high level of faculty engagement.”

Stewart notes programs like ArtNow help engage the University’s students with the city as a whole.

“We have a great relationship with the university in terms of museum-studies and interns. This semester we have four museum studies-interns working at the museum this term, which is an all-time high for students in one semester,” said Stewart. “What is great about students engaging with this exhibition is that the student population is a more diverse body of people than perhaps, say, our general membership for the museum. Having students aware of the programs that we do at the museum and seeing the Galt, not just as a history museum, but as a institution that is focused on contemporary issues as well.”

Speaking from personal experience, Stewart knows that graduating can be worrisome, but there is always an opportunity to follow a passion.

“As someone who is also a graduate of the University, I did my undergrad here, having the opportunity to do a museum studies internship, over ten years ago at the Galt Museum, that real world practical experience is really important. Being able to have that relationship between the museum and the university is really important for fostering the careers of the next generation of museum workers.”

Hoping to continue and foster the love of museum studies, Stewart hopes to continue building bridges with those who have a passion.

“We have had a large number of professors in both the art and new media departments expressing interest to bring students for a classroom visit of the exhibition. That is something we are always excited to see, professors taking an interest in how the museum can be an active site of learning for their coursework,” said Stewart.

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