September 12, 2018 - 1:00pm
If you’ve wandered into The View Gallery at Vancouver Island University’s Nanaimo Campus to check out an exhibit in recent years, chances are you’ve met Maggie Hinbest. The fourth-year Visual Art major at VIU has been working in the gallery for several years, both as a volunteer and as a work-op student. This summer, thanks in part to her experiences there, Maggie landed a position as a Gallery Assistant at Madrona Gallery in Victoria. "I'm very proud of Maggie, her work at the View Gallery, and especially how she has stepped into the world of commercial galleries at Madrona,” says Dr. Justin McGrail, an Art and Design Professor and Curator of The View Gallery. “Her story proves that, despite conventional wisdom, it is possible to study art and get a job!"
Maggie is spending this school year living in Victoria so she can continue to work at Madrona. She’ll also be finishing off her degree at VIU and curating the Spring 2019 student art show at The View Gallery.
When did you first become interested in art?
I have always loved art. I was fortunate enough to visit many art museums at a young age, and partake in art classes in our community. Early on I decided that I wanted to study something I was passionate about, and art has always seemed like the appropriate choice.
How has your VIU education helped you achieve your goals?
I chose VIU because I wanted a university with small class sizes that was close to home. I only intended to stay for a year before transferring to another institution. Those plans changed when I started volunteering at The View Gallery on campus, and was then offered a work-op position there. My experiences at the gallery shaped my university life for the past three years, and made me want to pursue a career in the arts. It prepared me for the positions I held at the Nanaimo Art Gallery as their Collections Assistant, the Nanaimo Arts Council as a Program Assistant, and now at Madrona Gallery in Victoria.
If you could pick another area of study what would it be?
If VIU offered an Art History degree, I would have chosen that. My personal interest has always been museums and art galleries more so than becoming a professional artist. For this reason I’m taking courses at the University of Victoria (UVic) this year in their Art History department to complement my Visual Arts degree from VIU. I am grateful that VIU has allowed me to combine studio courses and art history to achieve a well-rounded arts education.
What trait do you most admire about yourself?
I am always looking for the next opportunity to advance myself and my career. This drive to continually seek new experiences and learning opportunities has led to some great summer jobs in our community and allowed me to make great connections. I’ve met some amazing friends who have similar interests to me because I’ve pushed myself to be as involved as I can.
One of VIU’s values is access to education. What does this mean to you?
I believe all people should have equal access to education regardless of their social class, gender, race or physical/mental disabilities. VIU has made many great steps towards accessibility, notably by encouraging Indigenous student success and introducing the Tuition Waiver Program for former youth in care. I believe there is still a long way to go, and I look forward to seeing how VIU continues its efforts to be a more financially, physically and socially accessible institution.