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National Gallery Offers Internships

A young group enjoys a tour of the gallery.

Young Caymanian artists and university students, Leanna Lewis and Rachelle Rivers, are expanding their artistic horizons this summer, as they take advantage of the National Gallery's Summer of Art internship to gain valuable work experience.

This is the second time participating in the internship programme at the National Gallery for Lewis, who is 20 years old. Rivers, 21, is completing the internship for the first time.

"We are always excited to welcome our summer interns. The goal of this programme is to give budding artists an insight into the local arts community, and provide them with the experience and knowledge necessary to gain a step up in the professional art community, before they return from their studies," said National Gallery Director Natalie Urquhart.

Lewis is in her third year of studies at York University in Toronto, Ontario, where she is pursuing a BFA in the Visual Arts Studio Program. She has also completed Advanced Level classes at Cayman Prep and High School, graduating with an Advanced Subsidiary pass in Art.

"Working at the National Gallery has helped me gain a lot of knowledge about the art community, and an understanding of how it operates and is managed. This wonderful opportunity has also increased my confidence and communication skills. I know the experience will benefit me in my future endeavours." Lewis said when asked about her time at the gallery so far.

No stranger to the art scene in Grand Cayman, Rivers currently studies at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Atlanta, Georgia, where she hopes to obtain a BFA in Graphic Design. Before she left for SCAD, Rivers won the National Gallery Cayman Islands Art Award at her graduation from St. Ignatius Catholic School, as well as the National Trust's Earth Week Logo competition, which led to her illustrating two children's books.

"My passion for art is what attracted me to the Gallery initially. Back in 2008, I won the Visual Art Award from NGCI at my high-school graduation. Since that time I have wanted to become more involved in its work, and I figured this would be the perfect opportunity! The diversity of work to which I have been exposed, and the chance to interact with the art community has made my summer internship quite pleasurable; I'm delighted to be a part of the team!" Rivers said.

Twelve Month Internship

In addition to the short-term Summer of Art intern placement, the National Gallery offers a year-long internship sponsored by Deutsche Bank. Now in its ninth year, the Deutsche Bank National Gallery Internship Programme offers a young Caymanian the experience of working in the museum and gallery profession prior to continuing their education.

This entry level, full-time programme is designed to equip the successful applicant with some work experience that will support their future education and career aspirations in visual arts.

Past interns include Kerri-Anne Chisholm, who now attends Oxford Brookes University in Oxford, United Kingdom (UK). Kerri-Anne hopes to obtain a master of fine arts degree in curatorial studies upon completion of her bachelor's degree.

On graduation, Lewis, Rivers and Chisholm would all like to use their degrees to apply their insight and knowledge within the local arts sector. The opportunity to do just this for a trial period at the gallery seems to have only made them more eager to finish.

"It is really a privilege to see young artists grow in their work," said Ms Urquhart, "However, our commitment to educating the next generation of artists does not stop with the internship programme."

For younger artists, the Gallery offers a weekly Kids Flix film club every Monday at 3 pm, as well as free art classes for children on Thursday afternoons throughout the summer. To see a list of courses and clubs offered, or to learn more about the internship programme, visit their website at


For further information contact: Yvette Cacho