Marjan Kaviani Arani

Meet Marjan Kaviani Arani:

Headshot of person with dark, long curly hair, sitting in front of two paintings.

About Marjan

Marjan Kaviani Arani is a third year BAH student majoring in Studio Art and minoring in Psychology. With a graduation date of 2024, Marjan already has tons of experience under her belt through experiential learning including gaining course credit while working with a professional artist in Toronto, completing work studies at the Art Gallery of Guelph and within the School of Fine Art and Music, and more. Marjan tells us about her various experiential learning, what skills she has gained through these roles, how she found these experiences, and more. Watch this video to see Marjan's Experiential Learning in action!

Tell us about your role at the Art Gallery of Guelph (AGG). What kind of projects do you work on?

“At the AGG I usually work at the front desk. I open and close the gallery, greet visitors, provide information on the exhibits and cash out items from the gallery shop. When working in collections at the AGG, I could be working on a variety of projects. For example, there is the slide digitizations project where I scan images from our collection storage and upload them onto a shared drive. I could also be working on installing a new exhibit or taking down an exhibit. Moving artworks and storing them properly is also something I learned while working in collections.”

What’s your favourite thing that you do at the AGG and why?

“My favourite thing to do at the AGG is talking to visitors. There are some very artistic and interesting people that come to see the exhibits, and even more people who come to our events!”

How did you find this role?

“I found this role on the Experiential Learning website under Work Study jobs.”

Tell us about your Work Study job as Building Monitor in Zavitz!

“While I was the building monitor at Zavitz, I would restore the gallery walls by plastering and painting them. I would also open and lock the painting studios for those who booked it to work during Covid.”

What skills, knowledge and attitudes have you gained throughout both of these roles?

“I learned a lot about responsibility, and the organization of a gallery. Communication is another important skill that I have built on while working these two jobs. It has also shown me what working in a gallery setting can be like, as a future career path.”

What's the most valuable thing to you about these jobs?

“The most valuable thing to me at these jobs is the ability to be surrounded by art and new exhibits all the time. Being immersed in the art community is very important to me, so I am always up to date on the events and talks that the Art Gallery of Guelph hosts.”

Would you recommend Work Study to other students? Why or why not?

“Yes, I would definitely recommend Work Study to other students. There are a lot of great jobs that you can find placement in, and the best part about my specific work study job is that you can usually study while working! I complete most of my assignments when working at the front desk.”

Tell us about your Experiential Learning with the artist Azadeh Elmizadeh!

“As a Studio Art major, I was allowed to enroll in a course called experiential learning, which is similar to co-op in my opinion. I was allowed to find my own placement in either a gallery or with an artist in their studio. Since I had experience working in a gallery (through work-study), I wanted to have experience working with a professional artist. I had heard about Azadeh Elmizadeh, since she was a recent MFA graduate at U of G and she had won a prestigious award, the Joseph Plaskett award. I reached out to her, and luckily she accepted my offer to work for her in exchange for a credit. I would travel to her studio in Toronto once a week, and help her stretch canvases, prime them and apply the first couple layers. I learned a lot about being a professional artist through our many conversations we had. It was great building a relationship with her, and learning so much.

What do you do and how did you find this opportunity?

“I am a figurative painter myself, and I found this opportunity by looking through the course catalog for studio art courses. I read about the experiential learning course and asked the director of the School of Fine Art and Music more about it.”

Did you ever think that you would be doing all these things in your undergrad? Why or why not?

“I don’t think I really thought about it. I am definitely surprised how much I have experienced in only the last few years and how much I have grown. I am really thankful for all these experiential learning opportunities that have helped me grow my resume.”

What does “Experiential Learning” mean to you?

“Experiential learning to me, means learning through experimenting. Trying something new out, and learning through the process. It’s a bit like making a painting.”

Do you have anything else you'd like to add?

“Just that I am really grateful for all these opportunities!”