petak, 24. kolovoza 2012.

Welcoming students in the professional arena

I would like to thank Amber Kerr-Allison for encouraging me to write this text and for her help editing and translating it to English. The text is also available in Croatian.

In 1961, the International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (IIC) organized its first international conference in Rome. In September this year Vienna will host IIC's 24th Biennial Congress.

At the Istanbul Congress two years ago conservation students and recent graduates were, for the first time, given the opportunity to preset the results of their work and research through posters. Their poster presentations took place along with the poster presentations of professional conservators. Delegates were invited to speak to student authors and after the Congress all student posters were published on the IIC web page. A Student Poster Exhibition will also accompany this year's Congress. The exhibition aims to provide a look at emerging conservators' research and work experiences, as well as a platform for the exchange of ideas and knowledge.

IIC's 24th Biennial Congress will take place in Vienna, September 10-14

The evaluation process

Amber Kerr-Allison, paintings conservator at the Lunder Conservation Center in Washington D.C. and a member of the IIC Council, has served as chair on the Student Poster Committee of the Istanbul Congress and Vienna Congress. Last December she invited me to join the Committee, along with Lisa Gräber, assistant professor at the Institute of Conservation of the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, wall paintings conservator Maram Na'es, currently a visiting scholar at the Institute for Optics and Atomic Physics of the Technical University in Berlin, and objects conservator Anna Serotta, who works as a contract conservator at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. Our task was to promote the student poster session to institutions across the globe, and then evaluate the poster abstracts submitted by the deadline. Thirty-two student abstracts were received and evaluated by the IIC Student Poster Committee, of which twenty "finalists" were selected. The committee members were then tasked with mentoring the finalists through the process of creating the posters. Final editing of the posters was entrusted to Joyce H. Townsend, IIC's Director of Publications and the chair of the Vienna Congress Editorial Committee.

Student author Caroline Roberts, Amber Kerr-Allison, Maram Na'es and me in Istanbul

After having reviewed each poster abstract, the Student Poster Committee was asked to evaluate and rank each submission based on several criteria points, which included: How effectively does the author convey the ideas and subject matter in the abstract? How well is the text structured? Does the subject relate to the theme of the Congress (The Decorative - Conservation and the Applied Arts)? What is its scientific relevance to the conservation field? Would the subject matter be interesting to a broad audience?

We had to provide a brief explanation for each score, and were asked to advise the authors on how they could improve their posters. Surprisingly (or not?), all members of the committee were pretty close in their scoring. We seemed to be unanimous about which subject matters were relevant, and which required some "polishing". Final ranking of all the abstracts was based on the averaged score for each category we ranked them by. The top twenty students were to be accepted, along with two alternates. Before the results were made official, we were asked to review and approve the rankings. At this point committee members were offered the opportunity to "lobby" for a particular author if we felt that they deserved to be among the top twenty. After the committee's approval of the rankings, the authors were informed about the results of the evaluation process.

Guidance and support

By the end of May we had received poster guidelines from the IIC Council, which our chair forwarded to the student authors. Then, each member of the Student Poster Committee was appointed as an advisor to five authors. I thought it was great that IIC leaves nothing to chance and that these young people were getting (our) full attention. I wish I had the opportunity to learn how to present a poster or a paper with the help of senior colleagues. At the IIC, participation in Congress is seen not just an opportunity to present the results of one's work to the community of experts, but also as an opportunity to broaden one's knowledge. Besides, one must keep in mind that many of the students have never made a poster presentation before.

Manuela Wiesend, 5th year student at the National Academy of Art and Design in Stuttgart who will be presenting a poster on "cobweb paintings" (that is the topic of her diploma thesis), says that designing the poster was the hardest part for her. "I have never worked in InDesign before so it was quite a pain in the neck to get used to it. And it was very difficult to select images, because I've collected a hundred of interesting photos so far." The authors were asked to secure permission for data and images, but Manuela says that the "paperwork" was not very complicated.

Manuela was one of the five students I mentored, so I wanted to know how she decided to apply for the student poster exhibition. "A friend of mine from the University of Applied Arts in Vienna forwarded me IIC's call for student poster presentations," she explained. "I thought the topic of my thesis would fit quite nicely to the Congress theme 'The Decorative'". Manuela, who will be attending the Congress as a representative of her fellow students, thinks that German graduate programs need to show interest in communication and exchange on international level. "I am really interested in getting new suggestions and experiencing different point of views. Besides, I always wanted to present at an international conference." She feels that attending the Congress could also benefit her professional future. "After I earn my diploma in October, I would love to work abroad again. I already did a four-month internship at the National Galleries of Scotland. I hope to make new contacts in Vienna and create new opportunities for my future career."

Manuela thinks that it is important for students to know what is going on in the field, so she agreed to share her experiences from the conference on the IIC blog. She also plans to blog for the German Conservators Association (Verband der Restauratoren, VDR). "When I told my friend who chairs the student section of that Association that I will attend the Congress, she asked me if I would like to blog for their website. Of course I said yes!" An additional incentive came from the fact that many of Manuela's colleagues wanted to attend the Vienna Congress, but could not afford it. She thought it was very important to give them a summary of the conference.

IIC is committed to assisting its student members in attending congresses. All students were invited to apply for a grant from the Brommelle Memorial Fund. Manuela admits that she was not aware that this opportunity was available, but another student from my group, Kyriaki Tsirita, did receive the grant. As doctoral students are eligible to apply for the Brommelle grant, I, too, was one of its recipients two years ago. Thanks to IIC's support, I was able to attend the Istanbul Congress and to present the poster on the conservation works at the Peristyle of Diocletian's Palace. Attending that conference was an experience I will treasure for life.

Student Poster Session in Istanbul

Caroline Roberts (Winterthur / University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation, WUDPAC) won the student poster prize

Participation matters!

When I asked our chair, Amber Kerr-Allison, how this initiative was started she said that prior to the IIC Istanbul Congress in 2010 she was contacted by IIC President Jerry Podany regarding an opportunity to expand the poster session to include students. A select group of five emerging conservators were selected to serve on the committee, which would provide a peer review of the student poster abstracts. It was at that time that she was asked to chair the first student poster committee in order to facilitate the selection process and implementation of the Student Poster Session in 2010. She stated, "It was an amazing opportunity and honour for me to participate in this new initiative. The experience provided me the chance to collaborate with four other emerging conservators from around the world to form the first Student Poster Committee for IIC. We took our responsibilities very seriously and were so proud of the student authors and posters presented at the Istanbul congress in 2010. This is a remarkable opportunity for students to present their research, become engaged in a professional venue, and segue them into becoming conservation professionals and participating members of the IIC."

I believe that the Student Poster Session of the Vienna Congress will be as successful as the one held in Istanbul. In order to make that happen, your help/attendance is needed. Participation matters: it is what makes one a part of the global community of experts. More importantly, it gives one a chance to shape the profession.

Poželimo studentima dobrodošlicu u restauratorsku zajednicu!

Tekst je dostupan i na engleskom jeziku. Toplo zahvaljujem Amber Kerr-Allison na poticaju za njegovo pisanje te na pomoći oko uređivanja i prevođenja.

Godine 1961. Međunarodni institut za restauriranje povijesnih i umjetničkih djela (International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, IIC) organizirao je u Rimu svoju prvu međunarodnu konferenciju. U rujnu ove godine Beč će biti domaćin 24. bijenalnog kongresa IIC-a.

Na kongresu koji je prije dvije godine održan u Istanbulu, studenti i tek završeni konzervatori-restauratori prvi su put mogli prezentirati rezultate svojega rada i istraživanja putem postera. Poster prezentacije studenata odvijale su se usporedo s prezentacijima postera starijih kolega. Sudionici kongresa imali su priliku razgovarati s autorima, a nakon kongresa svi su posteri objavljeni na web stranici IIC-a. Izložba studentskih postera održat će se i u sklopu ovogodišnjeg kongresa, a cilj joj je pružiti uvid u istraživački rad i praktična iskustva konzervatora-restauratora – početnika, te stvoriti platformu za razmjenu ideja i znanja.

24. bijenalni kongres IIC-a održat će se od 10. do 14. rujna u Beču

Evaluacijski postupak

Amber Kerr-Allison, restauratorica slika u Centru za konzervaciju-restauraciju Lunder u Washingtonu i članica Vijeća IIC-a, sudjelovala je u radu Povjerenstva za studentske postere istanbulskog i bečkog kongresa. Prošloga prosinca pozvala me da se priključim tom povjerenstvu. Poziv je upućen i Lisi Gräber, docentici na Institutu za konzervaciju-restauraciju Sveučilišta primijenjenih znanosti u Beču, restauratorici zidnih slika Maram Na'es koja, kao gostujuća znanstvenica, trenutno boravi Institutu za optiku i atomsku fiziku Sveučilišta u Berlinu, te restauratorici Anni Serotti koja radi za Metropolitan muzej u New Yorku. Naš je zadatak bio promovirati izložbu studentskih postera i evaluirati sažetke postera koji su pristigli unutar roka. Zaprimljena su i evaluirana trideset dva sažetka, nakon čega je odabrano dvadeset "finalista". Članovi povjerenstva su, kao mentori, trebali pratiti izradu svakog postera. Završno uređivanje postera obavila je Joyce H. Townsend, predsjedateljica Uredničkog odbora 24. bijenalnog kongresa i osoba odgovorna za sve IIC-ove publikacije.

Caroline Roberts, dobitnica nagrade za najbolji studentski poster 2010. godine, Amber Kerr-Allison, Maram Na'es i ja u Istanbulu

Nakon čitanja, sažetke smo trebali ocijeniti i rangirati prema nekoliko kriterija: Koliko je uspješno autor izlažio svoju temu/ideju? Je li rad dobro strukturiran? Ima li tema postera veze s temom kongresa ("Konzerviranje-restauriranje i primijenjena umjetnost")? Kakav je znanstveni doprinos rada? Da li bi tema mogla biti zanimljiva široj publici? Svaku je ocjenu trebalo obrazložiti, a autore savjetovati kako postere mogu učiniti boljima.

Začudo (ili ne?), nije bilo velikih odstupanja u ocjenama. Svi smo bili složni oko toga koje su teme relevantne, a na kojima još treba raditi. Na temelju prosječne ocjene iz svake kategorije prema kojoj smo ocjenjivali pristigle radove, formirana je rang-lista sažetaka. Prihvaćeno je dvadeset najbolje ocijenjenih radova, uz dvije "rezerve". Nakon toga mogli smo "lobirati" za rad (poster) za koji smo smatrali da bi trebao biti među prvih dvadeset. Kada je povjerenstvo odobrilo rang-listu, studenti su obaviješteni o rezultatima evaluacijskog postupka.

Vođenje i podrška

Krajem svibnja Vijeće IIC-a poslalo nam je smjernice za izradu postera, a predsjednica našega povjerenstva proslijedila ih je autorima. Svaki član povjerenstva trebao je savjetovati petero studenata oko izrade postera. Oduševilo me to što u IIC-u ništa nije prepušteno slučaju, a mladim se ljudima posvećuje puno pažnje. Voljela bih da sam i sama mogla od starijih kolega naučiti kako se prezentira poster i drži usmeno izlaganje. U IIC-u, sudjelovanje na kongresu ne smatra se samo prilikom da se rezultati rada predstave kolegama; to je i prilika da se nešto nauči. Osim toga, treba imati na umu da je izrada postera za većinu studenata novo iskustvo.

Manuela Wiesend, studentica pete godine na Državnoj akademiji za umjetnost i dizajn u Stuttgartu koja će u Beču prezentirati svoj diplomski rad o "slikama na paukovoj mreži" (to je tema njezina diplomskoga rada), kaže da joj je grafičko oblikovanje bilo najteži dio posla. "Ovo mi je bio prvi put da radim u InDesignu pa mi je bilo teško priviknuti se na program. Osim toga, nije mi bilo lako odabrati ilustracije, jer sam do sada prikupila stotinu zanimljivih slika." Premda se od autora tražilo da dostave odobrenje za korištenje slikovnih materijala, Manuela ističe da "papirologija" nije bila složena.

Manuela je bila jedna od petero studenata kojima sam ja bila mentor, pa me zanimalo kako se odlučila prijaviti za sudjelovanje na izložbi studentskih postera. "Prijateljica sa Sveučilišta primijenjenih umjetnosti u Beču proslijedila mi je pozivni e-mail Vijeća IIC-a," objasnila mi je. "Pomislila sam da bi tema moga diplomskoga rada dobro odgovarala temi kongresa." Manuela, koja u Beč dolazi kao predstavnica svojih kolega sa studija konzervacije-restauracije, smatra da bi njemački fakulteti trebali pokazati veći interes za komunikaciju i razmjenu na međunarodnom nivou. "Ja doista želim dobiti nove prijedloge i iskusiti drugačije poglede. Osim toga, oduvijek sam željela prezentirati svoj rad na međunarodnoj konferenciji." Sudjelovanje na ovome skupu vidi kao veliku priliku za svoju profesionalnu budućnost. "U listopadu ću diplomirati, a nakon toga bih voljela opet raditi u inozemstvu. Već sam provela četiri mjeseca u Nacionalnim galerijama Škotske. Nadam se da ću u Beču uspostaviti nove kontakte i stvoriti si nove mogućnosti za nastavak karijere."

Manuela smatra da je za studente važno da znaju što se u struci zbiva, stoga je pristala podijeliti svoja iskustva s konferencije na blogu IIC-a. Ne samo to; Manuela će pisati za blog Njemačkog udruženja konzervatora-restauratora (Verband der Restauratoren, VDR). "Kada sam prijateljici koja predsjedava studentskom sekcijom toga udruženja rekla da ću sudjelovati na kongresu u Beču, upitala me želim li pisati za njihov blog. Naravno da sam pristala!" Dodatni joj je poticaj bilo to što je puno njezinih kolega htjelo sudjelovati na kongresu, ali im financijske mogućnosti to nisu dopustile. Činilo joj se važnim da im da sažeti prikaz konferencije.

IIC predano radi na tome da svojim članovima-studentima omogući sudjelovanje na kongresima. Svi su se studenti mogli prijaviti na natječaj za stipendiju Memorijalne zaklade Brommelle. Manuela priznaje da nije znala za tu mogućnost, no druga studentica iz moje grupe, Kyriaki Tsirita, primila je tu stipendiju. Budući da se i doktorski studenti mogu natjecati za stipendiju ove zaklade, prije dvije godine i sama sam se našla među dobitnicima. Zahvaljući potpori IIC-a sudjelovala sam na kongresu u Istanbulu, gdje sam prezentirala poster o konzervatorsko-restauratorskim radovima na Peristilu Dioklecijanove palače. Sudjelovanje na toj konferenciji zauvijek ću pamtiti.

Prezentacija studentskih postera u Istanbulu

Nagrada za najbolji poster 2010. godine pripala je Caroline Roberts sa studija konzervacije-restauracije Muzeja Winterthur i Sveučilišta u Delawareu

Sudjelovanje je važno!

Kada sam predsjednicu Povjerenstva za studentske postere, Amber Kerr-Allison, pitala kako je pokrenuta ova inicijativa, rekla mi je da ju je 2010. godine kontaktirao predsjednik IIC-a Jerry Podany vezano uz mogućnost uključivanja studenata u izložbu postera. Formirano je peteročlano povjerenstvo koje će recenzirati sažetke njihovih radova. Povjerenstvo je bilo sastavljeno od konzervatora-restauratora u ranom stadiju karijere. Da bi se olakšao proces odabira radova i implementacija studentske izložbe, Amber je zamoljena da preuzme ulogu predsjednice Povjerenstva. "Sudjelovanje u toj novoj inicijativi bila je sjajna prilika i velika čast," kaže. "Kroz Povjerenstvo za studentske postere dobila sam priliku surađivati sa četvero drugih, tek diplomiranih konzervatora-restauratora iz različitih dijelova svijeta. Svoje smo zadatke vrlo ozbiljno shvatili i bili smo jako ponosni na autore i postere koje su prezentirali na kongresu u Istanbulu 2010. godine. Ovo je izvanredna prilika da studenti predstave svoja istraživanja, da se uključe u stručna zbivanja, ali i da se prometnu u profesionalne konzervatore-restauratore i aktivne članove IIC-a."

Vjerujem da će izložba studentskih postera u Beču biti jednako uspješna kao ona u Istanbulu. Da bi se to dogodilo, potrebna je vaša pomoć, tj. sudjelovanje na kongresu. Sudjelovanje je važno: to je ono što nas čini dijelom globalne zajednice stručnjaka. Još važnije, to je ono što nam daje priliku da oblikujemo struku.