Meet Paige Bromby
Paige Bromby is an artist and community activator who graduated from the University of Guelph in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art and a minor in Art History. While at U of G, Paige was extremely involved while doing her undergrad, and speaks to her two experiential learning (EL) courses she took in the Studio Art department which helped her develop her critical writing and social media marketing skills as well as learn more tangible knowledge within her field of the arts. Paige is still using some of the skills and knowledge gained through experiential learning in her life today, through her arts practice, and her two jobs at Guelph Arts Council and 10C. Paige tells us about her EL course experiences, what EL means to her, and her advice for current U of G students.
What experiential learning (EL) did you take part in while you were at U of G? What was your role in each?
“The first EL I took part in was working with artist Howard Podeswa in his studio in Toronto. I helped stretch canvas, update his website and run errands. My second EL experience was Interning with The Gathered Gallery where I helped write art reviews, create and post social media graphics and transcribe interviews.”
How did you find out about the opportunity to do an experiential learning course with The Gathered Gallery? What was that experience like?
“Monica Tap, a professor in the Studio Art department, had reached out to me with the opportunity because I had expressed interest in learning more about writing in the arts. It was such a great learning experience. Natalie and Emily are both Guelph alumni, and it was amazing to hear their advice about graduating and working as emerging artists. We connected remotely and they spent a lot of time showing me the systems and software that they use to manage their time and their business.”
What sorts of knowledge and skills did you develop in the various experiential learning activities that you've done?
“The internship really helped me learn how to write more concisely and introduced me to social media marketing strategies. Both my EL experiences helped me develop skills in website development, writing and studio management but it was the conversations I had with both Howard, Natalie and Emily were invaluable. It was great to learn more of the logistics of being an artist and running an artistic business. We covered topics that weren't covered in my other classes (taxes, branding, gallery representation etc.).”
Would you recommend Experiential Learning courses to others? Why or why not?
“Yes, I would definitely recommend experiential learning to others, that hands-on experience in the arts is really important to your success in the field outside of school. These opportunities help you build relationships, learn new skills and help build out your CV.”
What does Experiential Learning mean to you?
“Experiential Learning is an opportunity to apply the theoretical framework we learned in class to the world outside of academia. There are so many career paths in the arts, and it is so helpful to actually try some of these paths out before graduation. It can even help direct your course selections, after my semester writing with the Gathered Gallery, I enrolled in another writing class with Robert Enright the following semester.”
What are you up to now? Did your experiential learning experiences help you get there?
“Outside of my painting practice, I work with the Guelph Arts Council as the Co-Manager of Programs and Operation and 10C Shared Space as the Arts and Community Activator. I work mainly in communications and arts program development. The skills I learned in both my EL experiences helped prepare me for the writing and communications work that I am doing now but they also in turn connected me with so many other opportunities that really helped build my career momentum.”
What is your best advice for current U of G students?
“My advice would be to get involved and connect with people doing cool projects. Talk to your professors, tell them your interests in the field, ask them questions. All of the best opportunities I got while in school were born out of the friendships I had made with the incredible faculty at SOFAM.”