Kate Amann earned her master’s degree in Design and Digital Media from the University of Edinburgh and now works as the Digital Media Officer at the National Galleries of Scotland. We caught up with her in the Fall of 2012.
When did you first realize you wanted to live in Scotland?
After a day in Edinburgh with Dr. Gillin on the Kiplin Hall summer program, I knew I wanted to come back, so I spent a semester of my junior year at the University of St. Andrews and decided I wanted to come back for good. I returned to Edinburgh after I graduated with the intent to break into publishing.
How did that go?
I spent six months at Chambers Harrap Publishers and then decided to go back to school so I could stay longer. I earned a master’s degree in Design and Digital Media at the University of Edinburgh and then stayed on at the University, working as a web editorial assistant until I stumbled upon an opportunity to work in the arts at The National Galleries of Scotland.
What have you done to help the museum keep up with the digital age?
Soon after I arrived, we redesigned the website and created a new touchscreen system for the newly renovated Scottish National Portrait Gallery. It was an enormous project, but really exciting because we got to work across all departments to gather behind-the-scenes content, games, and lots of extra information on the artworks.
What’s your day-to-day routine?
I keep the website up-to-date, monitor social media channels, and work on digital features for both the galleries and our online presence. It’s great because I’m aware of everything going on within the organization.
What part of your undergraduate experience informs your work?
My involvement with campus publications (The Washington College Review, The Collegian and The Medium) gave me an eye for aesthetics. And my coursework gave me real-world skills. Even though I didn’t end up working in theatre, I learned so much about life and how to deal with people and situations from my drama professors. And I have Larry Stahl to thank for teaching me how to use power tools like a pro. That’s particularly helpful when working on renovating my flat or fixing just about anything without paying someone.
My only regret is having waited until senior year to take art history with Dr. McColl. His enthusiasm was boundless and energizing. And I ended up working at a gallery after all that anyway.
Kate Amann fulfilled her senior thesis obligation at WC by directing a production of Paul Rudnick’s The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told. Her favorite WC productions include She Loves Me (2003) and Wit (2004), both of which she stage managed. After graduating, Kate moved to Edinburgh, Scotland, where she did a short stint in publishing at Chambers Harrap and a summer working as the Design and Distribution Co-Ordinator for C Venues at the Fringe.