Gina Mollett — Freelance Artist Educator, East Midlands

What advice would I give to those thinking about a career in gallery/visual arts education? Volunteer!

What do you most enjoy about your role?

Empowering children by asking them to share their ideas behind the artwork they have created. They are often bursting with imagination and stories that give a wonderful insight into the minds of children.

What’s a ‘typical’ day in your working life like?

A typical day can vary from sitting round a table to plan a project, to rolling up your sleeves, preparing materials and delivering activities to children (sometimes in the hundreds!)

How did you get where you are today? What skills, experience or qualifications have you needed?

My pathway into gallery education began at 16 years old. I joined a number of Youth Panels across the UK and have fond memories of the opportunities and role models that this experience gave to me. I worked my way up as a volunteer to becoming a freelancer. I believe that if you have the drive to become an advocate for art education and can demonstrate its importance through practical activities then you’re pretty much there!

What advice would you give to those thinking about a career in gallery/visual arts education?

Volunteer! Seek out your favourite galleries and specific projects that match or complement your general interests. Approach and ask to the support the delivery – everyone usually can do with an extra pair of hands!

What have been your career highlights/best moments so far?

The year of 2016 had a number of highlights and special moments within my career. It began by receiving a commission to collaboratively produce a series of family workshops that would compliment the Generation ART exhibition at New Walk Museum and Soft Touch Arts in Leicester. It was a real pleasure to share this work at the InSEA Regional Conference at the University of Applied Arts, Vienna and the Off The Map Symposium at De Montfort University.

How has being an Engage member helped your career?

It has widened my peer network, offered me opportunities to develop professionally and equipped me with a valuable set of resources!