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Exhibition to reveal hidden history of women makers in Europe

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Exhibition to reveal hidden history of women makers in Europe
Lavinia Fontana, Portrait of Costanza Alidosi, ca. 1595 is one of the pieces to be exhibited.

Heralded as a ‘must-see’ by Vogue and a ‘sure-to-be-historic’ exhibition by the New York Times, the Art Gallery of Ontario’s (AGO) original exhibition Making Her Mark: A History of Women Artists in Europe, 1400-1800, opens in Toronto on March 27, 2024. With more than 230 objects—from paintings to textiles, scientific drawings to furniture—this groundbreaking exhibition explores the breadth and depth of women’s artistic contributions across Europe as a stunning corrective to long held ideas that women artists of this period were rare and unexceptional. Co-organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Baltimore Museum of Art, the exhibition is co-curated by Dr. Alexa Greist, AGO Curator and R. Fraser Elliott Chair, Prints & Drawings and Dr. Andaleeb Badiee Banta, Senior Curator and Department Head, Prints, Drawings & Photographs, Baltimore Museum of Art.

Featuring loans from private and public collections across six countries and works by more than 130 women artists, the exhibition brings together traditional fine art— in the form of paintings and sculptures by celebrated women artists Artemisia Gentileschi, Judith Leyster, Rosalba Carriera, Rachel Ruysch, and Elisabeth Vigée-LeBrun—with domestic, religious, scientific, and commercial objects produced by unidentified amateurs, female collectives, religious orders, and workshops. Celebrating female artistry across all levels of society, even in those areas traditionally deemed craft, this exhibition is one of the first to put women makers in conversation across time and a continent.

“To understand why these women and their many accomplishments have long been underrecognized, we must acknowledge that European art history has always been rooted in biography—notably biographies written by and about men—and by a belief that painting, and sculpture are superior to other artforms”, says Dr. Alexa Greist, AGO Curator and R. Fraser Elliott Chair, Prints & Drawings. “The diversity and breadth of this exhibition is essential to helping us better understand, not just women’s artistry, but how various forms evolved and flourished. From the Ursuline sisters in Quebec City, we had the great fortune to borrow a devotional object made in France in the late 1700s of rolled paper so exquisitely done as to look like metal. Its existence in Canada is but one proof point of the enduring impact of these artistic efforts. I’m so excited to share this exhibition with our audiences.”

“The true breadth of women’s artistic production during this era has been long hidden in private collections and in museum storerooms, its study often hindered by lack of attribution. Bursting with ingenuity and surprising details, this exhibition—itself the collaborative product of a team of women art historians—is a remarkable opportunity to reveal women’s enduring contributions to the history of Western art,” says Dr. Andaleeb Badiee Banta, Senior Curator and Department Head, Prints, Drawings & Photographs, Baltimore Museum of Art.

Making Her Mark: A History of Women Artists in Europe, 1400-1800 is accompanied by a 264 page, fully illustrated hardcover catalogue, co-published by the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Baltimore Museum of Art, and Goose Lane Editions.

Dispelling notions that women were excluded from the sciences, the exhibition features examples of women working in the realms of botany, zoology, astronomy, and anatomy. Working at the end of the 17th century, German astronomer, and artist Maria Clara Eimmart’s renders in astonishing detail the phases of the moon and aspects of various planets in her Depictions of Celestial Phenomena. British artist Sarah Stone’s illustrations of animals and plants from New South Wales in 1790 are among the only surviving depictions of many species and remain scientifically valuable today. She’s represented in the exhibition by a watercolour of a blue and yellow macaw, made after 1789 and recently acquired by the AGO. One of the most famed female artists of the period, German artist Maria Sibylla Merian travelled with her daughter to Suriname at the end of the 17th century, producing on her return numerous illustrated volumes of native insect and plant life. From The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, comes Datura with Butterflies (1679/1695), a watercolour of the night blooming flower and its insects by Merian, and Three Mice Nibbling Fruit and Nuts (c. 1690-1710), attributed to her daughter, Johanna Helena Herolt. While women were largely excluded from formal art education, including life drawing, they found ways to bypass these constraints and create anatomically accurate nudes. Examples in the exhibition include Artemisia Gentileschi’s mythical Danaë (c. 1612) from the Saint Louis Art Museum, Italian artist Giulia Lama’s Sketch of a man foreshortened (early 1700s) from the Correr Museum in Venice, and Mary Moser’s chalk drawing Standing Female Nude (1765), courtesy The Fitzwilliam Museum.

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Lifestyle

How to talk about your university degree in an interview

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A degree student being interviewed by a university panel
Keeping your answers concise and framing them positively are key steps for a successful interview | Photo: Andrea Piacquadio

For lots of school leavers, the decision to go to university is based upon the professional prospects it can offer. Over this three or four-year period, students will acquire new (and hone existing) skills that’ll play a pivotal role in their success post-graduation.

Employers in a range of different industries value the importance of a university degree, so it’s a common line of questioning for lots of interviewers to venture down. As a job candidate, it’s important to be prepared for this.

Your education will stay on your CV throughout your career. However, the earlier on in your professional journey you are, the more value your uni experience will hold in an interview. This is because you’re unlikely to have the professional experience to draw upon to answer questions, so it’s important that you become comfortable talking confidently about this important chapter of your life. Here are some key things to remember whenever you’re asked about your university degree in an interview.

Be honest

At the heart of any conversation about your educational background, it’s important to be honest, since exaggerating your qualifications or experiences could end up working against you. For recruiters today, it’s easier than ever before to check up on candidates and the accuracy of their answers, and providing false information will work against your credibility in their eyes.

If you didn’t quite achieve the grades you were hoping for, being honest doesn’t mean you have to talk about your experience negatively. Instead, you might choose to focus on the positive aspects and how you think they have helped to shape you into a competitive candidate for whatever role you’re applying for.

Don’t neglect your soft skills

Gaining a university degree is primarily about learning the specific skills that will help you to be successful in the world of work. Even if your course isn’t necessarily a vocational one, you’ll constantly be developing hard skills that can be applied to a range of different jobs. While you won’t find them listed on the syllabus, you will also have the opportunity to develop a plethora of soft skills throughout your course, and these shouldn’t be forgotten.

Especially if you haven’t yet gained much professional experience and had the opportunity to demonstrate these skills in the workplace, talking about your time at university is a good way to show you possess the soft skills necessary to succeed in the role. For example, think back to any presentations you had to do as part of a module, where you had the opportunity to work on communication and teamwork skills. Or, think about a term when you had to balance deadlines in different modules, speaking to your time management skills.

Look beyond the lecture hall

Everyone who goes to university will have spent lots of time in the classroom with their tutors, and while it is important to talk about what you did in that setting, you also want your account of uni life to be a little different from other candidates.

What could set you apart from another interviewee when reflecting on your experiences is the stuff that goes on outside the classroom. As part of your interview prep, you should equip yourself with anecdotes and experiences that played an integral role in your university journey, beyond the standard curriculum. This could be a term that you spent studying or in industry abroad, or maybe a way in which you contributed to the institution beyond your academic merits. This could be through sporting efforts or perhaps your involvement with a society that was important to you.

Common interview questions

There are lots of different ways your degree could be brought up in an interview. Understanding the types of questions that might come up will help you to focus your preparations. Often, interviewers will use open-ended questions, leaving you to call upon the most important aspects: “Tell me about your educational background”. Others might direct you to a more specific answer about a particular element of your experiences: “What skills did you learn at university that’ll help you succeed in this role?”. It’s important to remember that your answers can be applied to different questions, so come prepared with a bank of key points to call upon.

Even if they don’t explicitly frame a question through the prism of your educational experiences, you can always call upon them to answer common situational questions. For example, you could be asked about a time you had to overcome adversity, and it’s perfectly acceptable to draw upon your time at university to answer this.

Preparation is key

As we’ve alluded to, reflecting on your time in higher education should be a key part of your interview prep. Don’t rely on recalling odd memories from this period as and when a question comes up – note down a few examples of challenges you overcame and skills you developed during this period that could be adapted to answer different types of situational questions. As with any other question, keep your answers concise, and make sure to frame them positively.

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‘Influencer’ among UK children’s top 10 dream jobs 

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A female influencer filming content indoors.
5 billion people use social media, around two-thirds of the global population

‘When I grow up, I want to be insta-famous’. Young Brits look to social media for their dream job, new research by pocket money card and app nimbl can reveal.

The role of influencer, someone able to monetise followings on websites and apps like Instagram and YouTube, was the sixth-most popular career choice among UK children aged 6 to 171.

About 1 in 20 chose it as their top occupation, hoping to follow in the footsteps of homegrown internet celebrities like gamer- entrepreneur KSI, and lifestyle guru Zoe Sugg.

While teacher was the favourite profession in the study amongst over 1,500 children interviewed – followed by doctor and vet – influencer elbowed out traditional careers including nurse, police officer and musician.

Influencers make money through sponsored content, negotiating with brands to offer paid endorsements or earning share of advertising revenue. The amount they earn can depend on popularity, with Instagram users typically able to monetise content once they have gained a few thousand followers.    

According to YouGov, Joe Wicks is the UK’s most famous influencer, with four in five Brits recognising the fitness coach. About 5 billion people use social media, around two-thirds of the global population.

“Social media has driven expansion of our digital lives, providing connection and transforming entertainment and news. It’s also providing jobs – and the most high-profile influencers are inspiring young Brits careers. “Although long-standing occupations still dominate dream jobs, it’s clear influencers are having an impact, and school careers advisers will need to brush up on their hashtags,” says Alana Parsons, Chief Executive of nimbl.

“For concerned parents it’s important to recognise that – behind the social media sheen – the biggest online stars have built their platforms through hard work, drive and perseverance, qualities that younger generations can learn from.”

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Samsung’s ‘Newfound Equilibrium’ design exhibition closes today

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Samsung’s ‘Newfound Equilibrium’ design exhibition closes today
“Newfound Equilibrium" is showcasing the brand’s user-centered design philosophy

Samsung Electronics today announced that it will hold its design exhibit at Milan Design Week’s Fuorisalone 2024 from April 16 to 21.

A design exhibition located at Le Cavallerizze, in the Leonardo da Vinci National Museum of Science and Technology in Milan, Italy, will come to an end this evening.

Samsung’s Corporate Design Center’s exhibition, “Newfound Equilibrium,” is showcasing the brand’s user-centered design philosophy, “Samsung Design Identity 5.0: Essential∙Innovative∙Harmonious.

“Design must fully take the human experience into consideration, and Samsung’s design principles achieve this,” says TM Roh, President and Head of Corporate Design Center at Samsung Electronics. “With our human-centered design philosophy, we aim to create a future that harmonizes with the lives of our customers through innovation with purpose.”

The multi-sensory experience, featuring immersive installations, guides visitors through five spaces that express Samsung’s design identity. The spaces are titled “Essence,” “Innovation,” “Harmony,” “Infinite Dream” and “New Dawning.” As visitors approach the screens in the spaces, translucent elements change into specific shapes and textures, and the shapes beyond the window appear as if they are approaching onlookers, allowing them to immerse themselves in the dream of an infinite future drawing nearer.

Through collaborations with the human craftsmanship of ceramic masters MUTINA, and wood veneer wizards ALPI, the Bespoke Refrigerator and AirDresser have also been reimagined considering the co-existence of people and technology.

Samsung’s “Newfound Equilibrium” exhibition is located at Via Olona, 6 bis, Milan and offers free entry until 6 PM today.

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