PRESENTED BY: KEOMI SERRETTE
EXHIBITION CURATOR AND RESEARCH SPECIALIST NATIONAL MUSEUM AND ART GALLERY OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
The experience and value of participating in the INTERNATIONAL MUSEUMS CONFERENCE TRANSFORM MUSEUMS: MUSEUMS, WHAT FOR?
I hold fast to the belief that the fundamental mission of museums is to collect, and to conserve, via critical assessment, a range of objects and materials that are distinctly important in signifying cultural, and other human dispositions. These are the things that will stand through time as historically plausible and authentic markers for a society’s presence in the world. Armed with strict resolve and understanding the great sense of responsibility of a museum, I have endeavoured to be responsible for being a part of the process by employing my best efforts at being a caretaker of my country’s patrimony.
My professional journey began in 2008, when I embarked on building a career at the National Museum and Art Gallery of Trinidad and Tobago. I first started as a Collections Management Intern, then progressed to the post of Research Assistant. Today, I serve in the operational role of a Fine Arts Exhibition Curator, and Research Specialist at the National Museum and Art Gallery of Trinidad and Tobago. Over the years, I have gained valuable on-the-job experience working within the museum environment, boosted by working closely with the museum’s curators. I have also had the honour and privilege of being coached for over the past thirteen years by one of the Caribbean’s most significant artists and leading thinkers, Master Artist, Dr. LeRoy Clarke; who in recent years, has established De Legacy - House of El Tucuche, a living/lived-in museum of the Master Artist.
As a Fine Arts Exhibition Curator, Research Specialist and practicing visual artist, my specialisation has specifically been geared towards arts, heritage and culture. After participating in the International Conference "Museums for What?" of the Transform Museums Program, held by the British Council and Museum of Tomorrow on November 21st – 23rd, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, I feel as though my definition of the role, competence and purpose of museums has become more concrete and refined. My awareness of the value that museums have in shaping and revitalizing a society has been drastically amplified.
On November 21st, 2016 prior to the official launch of the Conference, the delegates of the Americas and the Caribbean, accompanied by a number of specially invited speakers, had a congenial tour to Cais do Valongo directed by Laura Taves, Community Relations Manager, Museu do Amanhã (Museum of Tomorrow). This was followed by a guided tour through the Museu do Amanhã (Museum of Tomorrow) facilitated by Chief Curator, Luiz Alberto Oliveira. The official opening of Conference at the Museu do Amanhã (Museum of Tomorrow) was the final highlight of the conference launch. My experience of both tours proved extremely insightful and presented me, the opportunity for learning, in a new space.