Ellie Smith: From Tauranga to Venice, and back again

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When we spoke to Creative BOP on how we best put the spotlight on the wealth of young creative talent coming out of the Bay, one of their suggestions focused on arts graduate Ellie Smith.

Ellie is an art historian and writer. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and Classical Studies from the University of Auckland, a Postgraduate Diploma in Museum Studies, and is currently a Master of Arts candidate in Museum Studies at Massey University.

Her Master’s thesis centres around how art galleries and museums are including the visually impaired community in their spaces.

Her first experience in a gallery came during her time at the University of Auckland where she gained a scholarship to be a part of the international internship programme at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice.

“My time at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection was pivotal at the start of my career, getting to see how such a world-renowned art museum runs was priceless.”

Since returning to Tauranga she has worked at Tauranga Art Gallery and Baycourt Community and Arts Centre, in roles that centre around engaging our community with the importance of arts and culture.

She currently works for Tauranga-based arts consultancy Supercut Projects. With Supercut Projects she has co-authored City Art Walk, a free app leading art lovers around Tauranga’s public artworks, she curated Echoes: Tauranga Moana, a digital heritage exhibition that featured the city’s rich archives and is currently working with Tauranga City Council to revitalise the city’s public and civic art collections.

Ellie has a huge passion for the arts, galleries and museums, and especially for finding new and innovative ways to engage different communities with them.
This is why her Master’s thesis centres so strongly around accessibility and ensuring that everyone has access to the wide variety of benefits interaction with the
arts can bring.

Creative BOP has identified a plethora of young local talent in the art space. This is highlighted by the journeys of a number of passionate young people like Ellie Smith.

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