Introducing Paige Michel-Strachan: John Hansard Gallery Engagement and Marketing ‘Excel’ Intern

BA History student, Paige Michel-Strachan, introduces herself and tells us what she hopes to achieve during her role as Engagement and Marketing Intern.

‘I was created to create.’

Since I was a little girl I have always had a passion for art. I would paint, play dress up and give my dolls crazy makeovers. As I got a bit older I would sketch colourful clothes designs, write poetry, bake and decorate cakes. Now I am at University and I try my best to get involved with all the arts opportunities I can. I am currently a radio presenter and producer at Surge Radio . My friends and I have an urban music radio show called URBAN P.A.K playing the latest Afro-Bashment, R&B and trap tunes. We discuss hot topics, comment on the latest entertainment news and play fun games. I am also a digital illustrator, photographer and writer at Wessex Scene Magazine . I created the cover art for the Race and Racism edition . I enjoy going to the theatre and cinema. In the past few weeks I watched If Beale Street Could Talk at Union Films and Princess and the Hustler at Nuffield Southampton Theatres City (NST City). I am also a Makeup Artist specialising in glam and creative looks for all skin tones and skin types. I like to travel to countries with tropical climates, I enjoy going to concerts and I like listening to entertainment podcasts.

Race and Racism-Wessex Scene illustration cover by Paige Michel-Strachan

I have recently started an ‘Excel’ Internship as Engagement and Marketing Intern at the University of Southampton’s John Hansard Gallery (JHG). I am focusing on increasing awareness and knowledge about the Resist: be modern (again) exhibition. I started by partnering up with the University’s Arts Ambassadors Molly and Jennifer at the exhibition’s private view. They announced across social media platforms that the exhibition was open to the public. We took photographs and videos of ourselves enjoying the exhibition to show audiences in and beyond the university how fantastic the exhibition looked and how much fun we were having! The show is very interactive. There are several photographs, a few sculptures and some videos too.

I hope to improve my research skills. This is a transferable skill that can help me with my History degree and other job roles in the future. I have been researching into the personal lives and previous works of historical figures and contemporary artists from Resist: be modern (again). This has been an amazing task because I was able to combine my love for history and art together. The historical figures presented in the show are women who due to either gender, ethnicity or sexuality have been censored out, devalued or marginalised over time. This exhibition does a fantastic job of bringing their practice and contribution out of the archives and into the foreground. When I attended the private view I networked with some of the best people from the art industry. I heard speeches from Woodrow Kernohan, Director of JHG, Councillor Satvir Kaur, Southampton’s Cabinet Member for Homes and Culture and the exhibition’s curators Alice Maude-Roxby and Stefanie Seibold.

Paige (centre) with Arts Ambassadors Molly and Jenny at the private view of Resist: be modern (again)

I was honoured to meet some of the contemporary artists whose work features in the show. I had done so much research on them and their work that it was surreal to meet them in person. My research has been shared with the gallery assistants at JHG  to complement their knowledge of the current art work in the exhibition. This is great because now they have more knowledge on the artists’ personal lives and previous works.

I have told my friends about all the amazing current and upcoming exhibitions and events at JHG through word of mouth, giving out leaflets and posting on social media. Some of them have attended in their free time and one even came to visit me on my lunch break so we could go round the exhibition together allowing me to put my research to use by explaining all the interesting facts I had found. I have also told my BA History classmates about the upcoming events at JHG .

One of my History modules was a group project. One of our assignment tasks was to create a public outcome on our topic: ‘Whitewashing of World War One – The Memorialisation of Merchant Mariners’. I decided to approach JHG to ask if we could hold our discussion panel there and it was approved. After weeks of planning our discussion panel was a success. Thus, my friends, my classmates and their friends all came to JHG increasing engagement with university students.

Southampton Sustainable Fashion Fest 2019 Logo

I attended the Voices in the Gallery ‘listening workshop’ led by Dr Sarah Hayden, English Department and I really enjoyed it. I hope to work on other events and exhibitions such as Art Asia’s Mela and the Southampton Sustainable Fashion Fest 2019. I have also seen Colourful Walkway and prepared the invites to JHG for all the children whose work had been displayed. I hope to engage more with children and families because I have little siblings so I understand that free events that encourage family time, engage children and bring out their creative side are wonderful.

I hope to make friends, associates and mentors during my time as Engagement and Marketing Intern. When I graduate I hope to work in the creative cultural industry.  The people around me are the best people to connect with, learn from and keep in contact with. I hope this internship opens up several other arts opportunities in the future. Last year I completed an ‘Excel’ Internship in the human resources department at Mayflower Theatre. Next Year I hope to get an ‘Excel’ Internship at NST.  Overall, I hope to gain as much experience as I can at JHG to aid me when applying for graduate roles in the future.

The Excel Southampton Internship Programme is a paid opportunity supported by the Careers and Employability Service at the University of Southampton

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One thought on “Introducing Paige Michel-Strachan: John Hansard Gallery Engagement and Marketing ‘Excel’ Intern”

  1. It’s so good Paige to seeing such artistic ally engaged young people with a definite goal and passion . I look forward to feeling this energy on my next visit to JHG

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