For College Students
This is your museum! The UMCA strives to be an integral part of your education at UMass Amherst. As a teaching museum and creative laboratory, we offer many ways for you to get involved. From joining our Student Educator team, curating an exhibition, or completing a for-credit internship, to doing work-study as a museum attendant, we invite you to learn and build your professional museum experience here at the UMCA.
Interested in Art, Museums, and Education?
Take this course and become a UMCA Student Educator!
UMCA Student Educator Practicum
Spring 2021 / Tuesdays 1:00 - 2:15 p.m. /2 credits
This practicum will train you to be a museum gallery educator and guide. You will develop a number of valuable skills you can use in museums and in a wide variety of academic and professional settings. The course will begin with research into the artist/s and art that you will be introducing to our visitors. You’ll develop skills in public speaking, learn about the various roles of a working museum, and design your own tour for a range of age groups (UMass students, K-12 visitors, and the general public).
Along with designing your own tour, you’ll meet and learn about all aspects of the museum and learn from advanced UMCA Student Educators. This course will give you valuable knowledge that you can translate into employment skills or in preparation for graduate school. It will give you the tools to talk about art based on the VTS [Visual Thinking Strategies] system currently used in American art museums, to learn museum etiquette, and to feel comfortable working in a museum.
The course will include research, discussions, guest lectures, and (virtual) field trips to area museums. Visit the UMCA website for details on the exciting artists and exhibitions planned for the UMCA in 2021.
For information, e-mail UMCA Education Curator Amanda Herman: firstname.lastname@example.org
Become a UMCA Student Educator
UMCA Student Educators provide personal tours and educational experiences for our visitors. They are trained by our Education Curator, Amanda Herman, in a for-credit course offered as a semester- or year-long opportunity through the History of Art and Architecture Department. Students research the most innovative museum education approaches in the field, then put that knowledge to practice working as educators with visitors such as UMass students, community members, local schools, and the general public.
If you are interested in museum studies, art education, and public engagement, this is the opportunity for you.
To register, please contact UMCA Education Curator Amanda Herman. Permission from the instructor is required.
Internships & Student Jobs
Internships for course credit are available in coordination with many academic departments to fulfill course requirements.
To apply: Please send your resume and a cover letter to UMCA Education Curator Amanda Herman.
The cover letter should introduce yourself and your relevant background, explain your interest in the position, and include what internship you are most interested in: Social Media, Collections Management, Installation, or Museum Education.
To apply or for more information, please e-mail the UMCA Business and Communication Manager Betsey Wolfson.
Curatorial Fellowship Program
The Annual UMCA Curatorial Fellowship Program for Graduate Students provides an opportunity for the selected fellows to perform all aspects of presenting an exhibition at the museum. Curated from the museum’s permanent collection of more than 3000 contemporary works on paper, fellows will conceive and develop the exhibition’s theme, research selected works, and write an accompanying brochure, wall texts, and exhibition labels. Fellows will utilize marketing strategies to produce a press release and exhibition invitations, highlighting their opening reception to introduce the exhibition to the public. Gallery talks, a symposium, or related events will provide additional opportunities for the public to delve deeper into the exhibition’s theme and content.
Two Fellows will be selected to work as a team by the University Museum of Contemporary Art in consultation with academic advisors in Studio Art and History of Art and Architecture. Typically one Fellow is selected from each department. During the year-long fellowship, museum staff will support the Curatorial Fellows in all aspects of the project while the academic advisor provides conceptual and theoretical guidance. The exhibition serves as the culminating project of the fellowship year. This is an unpaid fellowship but can be completed for academic credit.
To apply or for more information, please email the UMCA Education Curator Amanda Herman.
The UMCA partners with graduate departments at UMass to support semester- or summer-long assistantships for interested graduate students. Past UMCA graduate assistants have worked closely with UMCA staff to develop public programs and symposiums (such as the For Freedoms Town Hall and Art + Math =), curate exhibitions (Speak To Me Of Rivers[link to Speak To Me page) and complete crucial collections management projects.
For more information, please e-mail the UMCA Education Curator Amanda Herman.
Explore Our Collection
The University Museum of Contemporary Art collection was started by professor emeritus Walter Kamys in 1962 as a teaching collection for art students. It has grown to over 3000 pieces, with a focus on works on paper. It is the most expansive compilation of contemporary photographs, drawings, and prints to be housed in a Massachusetts public institution outside of Boston.
The UMCA is part of the Five College Museums/Historic Deerfield computerization project , which integrates the collections of the area's museums and makes their respective holdings accessible for purposes of study and research. All images of works in the University Museum of Contemporary Art Collection are identified with “UM” affixed to their accession number.
To access the collection online, click here.