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The Andrew W. Mellon Summer Academy and Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program

Have you ever wondered...

What is a curator and what do they do?
How are exhibitions created?
What skills are needed to work in a museum?


If so, apply to the Summer Academy, a one-week program (June 20-26, 2016) providing a rich experience in the museum environment with:

  • Behind-the-scenes tours of collections
  • Workshops with art curators, educators, and conservators
  • Curator-led tours of exhibition spaces
  • Networking events with art museum professionals

The Andrew W. Mellon Summer Academy and Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program provides specialized training for students across the United States from groups historically underrepresented in the curatorial field or those who support the goal of promoting inclusive, pluralistic museums. The program seeks to make a critical impact on American art museums by developing gifted curators who will work to engage a full spectrum of museum audiences. After completing the Summer Academy, participants will have the opportunity to submit supplemental materials to be considered for a fellowship.

For more information and to apply, visit our job search page and scroll to the posting “Summer Academy Fellow—Andrew W. Mellon Summer Academy and Undergraduate Curatorial Fellow Program”

Application deadline: Midnight, February 28, 2016

Questions? Please contact:

Felicia Mings 
Coordinator, Andrew W. Mellon Academic Programs 
Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program and the Chicago Object Study Initiative 
(312) 443-3581 
fmings@artic.edu

Established in 2013, the Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program aims to make a critical impact on American art museums by expanding the diversity of their curatorial staff. The program, which will provide specialized training in the curatorial field for students across the United States, will be implemented at five partnering institutions: the Art Institute of Chicago; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA); the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH); and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City. Each museum holds a world-class, encyclopedic collection that represents the broad range of artistic production across history and around the globe. The program is organized around two components: the Summer Academy and the Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program.

The program is intended specifically for undergraduate students from historically underrepresented groups in the curatorial field or those who support the goal of promoting inclusive, pluralistic museums. Students must be currently enrolled at a university, college, or community college, and, if selected, be able to commit to at least two years in the program prior to graduating. Applicants should express an interest in art, art history, or the museum field. In addition to having a strong academic record, a candidate should be able to demonstrate, through areas of study, extracurricular activities, background or other experiences, how he or she will contribute to the program.

Students must first apply to a Summer Academy, to be held in 2014, 2015, and 2016 at each of the five partner museums. Summer Academies are one-week immersion programs designed to provide a rich experience in the museum environment and expose the 15 participants to career options related to art and art history. Each Summer Academy will include workshops, tours, field trips, and networking events with museum professionals. Upon the completion of each Summer Academy, two participants will be selected as fellows.

Fellows will participate in the Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program throughout their undergraduate career with the goal of entry into a graduate program. The multiyear fellowships will provide students with hands-on experience inside a museum setting, working with curators and staff on exhibitions, collections, and programs. Fellows will be matched with a museum mentor who will work to enrich the academic experience and to increase exposure to the museum context while broadening a fellow’s understanding of art and art history. Fellowships include engagement during the academic school year followed by summer internships at a partner museum.

High Museum of Art, Atlanta

Nelson–Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City

The Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH)

Los Angeles County Museum (LACMA)

Eligibility

Who is eligible to apply?

  1. Undergraduates currently enrolled at a university, college, or community college
  2. Undergraduates who, if selected as a fellow, can commit to two years in the program with graduation planned for May 2018 or a later date (typically a current freshman or sophomore student)
  3. Individuals from groups historically underrepresented in the curatorial field or those who support the goal of promoting inclusive, pluralistic museums
  4. Individuals who are eligible to work in the United States

What other qualifications are preferred?

  1. Demonstrated interest in art, art history, or the museum field.
  2. Enrollment at a university, college, or community college located near a partner museum: the Art Institute of Chicago; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA); the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH); and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City (NAMA)
  3. Openness to the idea of pursuing a masters or doctorate degree in the arts or museum field

Summer Academy

What is the Summer Academy?

The Summer Academy is a one-week intensive program consisting of workshops, tours, field trips, and networking events with museum professionals. They will be offered in the summers of 2014, 2015, and 2016 at each partnering museum. Summer Academies are designed to provide a rich experience in the museum environment and expose participants to career options related to art and art history.

How long is the Summer Academy?

Summer Academy participants must spend one week at their host museum.

When is the Summer Academy?

At the Art Institute of Chicago, the Summer Academy is scheduled for June 20–26, 2016. Summer Academy dates may vary at partner museums.

Is there financial support to participate in the Summer Academy?

Yes. Summer Academy participants will receive a daily per diem. If students do not live in the location of the Summer Academy host museum, a modest travel and housing stipend may be provided.

How many students will be selected for each Summer Academy?

Fifteen (15) students will be selected for each Summer Academy at each museum.

When will students be notified if they have been selected to participate in a Summer Academy?

Students will be notified in April, two months prior to the June Summer Academy.

Should students attend a college close to one of the partner museums?

Yes, this is preferred. Fellows selected from the Summer Academies for the Fellowship Program will be paired with a mentor at the host museum with whom they will work on projects and with whom they will meet regularly during the academic year and summer.


The Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program

What is the Fellowship Program?

The Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program is a multiyear program providing fellows with hands-on experience inside a museum setting, working with curators and staff on exhibitions, collections, and programs.

How long is the Fellowship Program?

Fellows can expect to spend two years at their host museum. During the academic year, fellows must meet with their mentors and with a local program coordinator on a regular basis. In the summer, fellows will have 10-week intensive summer internships. Fellows will also participate in a yearly national convening at one of the partner museums rotating annually and will engage their fellow participants across the country in an online community platform.

Is there financial support to participate in the fellowship program?

Yes. Once selected as a fellow, students will receive $4,000 during the academic school year to alleviate financial pressures that might otherwise require a student to pursue part-time work or work-study arrangements. In addition, fellows will receive $6,000 during the summer internships. A housing and travel stipend may also be provided to fellows during the summer internships.

How are fellows selected?

Students must first participate in a Summer Academy held at one of the partnering museums. After completing the Summer Academy, participants interested in becoming fellows will submit supplemental materials and have in-person interviews for consideration for the Fellowship Program.

Do I apply to the Summer Academy and to the Fellowship Program separately?

No. Students must first apply and participate in the Summer Academy in order to be considered for the Fellowship Program.

If I applied to a 2015 Summer Academy and was not selected to participate, can I reapply to a 2016 Summer Academy?

Yes, you may apply to the program if you still meet all the eligibility requirements.

If I applied to a 2015 Summer Academy and participated but was not selected to be a fellow, can I apply to a 2016 Summer Academy?

No. Students who participate in a Summer Academy may not reapply to the program but may be considered for different opportunities at the partnering museums in the future.

Jarvis Boyland

2015–17 Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellow

Jarvis Boyland

is a junior at the University of Memphis. He is a studio art major with a concentration in painting and a minor in art history. Jarvis admires the work of Edgar Degas, David Hockney, Delacroix, Vermeer, Rembrandt, and contemporary artist Kehinde Wiley. He is interested in contemporary genre painting and heavily inspired by working-class and social justice issues. Jarvis has been active on his campus and received the 2014 Donald K. Carson Leadership Scholarship. Jarvis is a proud born-and-raised Memphian; he loves fried foods and desserts.

This academic year Mark Pascale, Janet and Craig Duchossois Curator of Prints and Drawings, will mentor Jarvis.


Yady Rivero

2015–17 Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellow

Yady Rivero

likes vines and media theory, public sculptures and cheese puffs. She was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and immigrated to Miami when she was an eight-pound baby. Fast-forward 16 years and she can be found in the Midwest, a Quest Scholar at the University of Chicago, trying to make sense of our social relationships to cultural objects. Yady is interested in taking an interdisciplinary approach to explore the political role of art and art institutions.

This academic year Victoria Sancho Lobis, Prince Trust Associate Curator of Prints and Drawings, will mentor Yady.


Sarah Molina

2014-16 Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellow

Sarah Molina

is a Morehead-Cain scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill entering her senior year. Sarah is majoring in art history and minoring in philosophy, politics, and economics. Her interests in social justice and art history prompted her to start an education initiative that connects public high school students to the discipline of art history. During the summer of 2014 she followed an interest in medieval cartography to the archives of Oxford and Istanbul on a research grant. An exploration of al-Idrisi’s medieval cartographic manuscript conducted under the guidance of Professor Glaire Anderson at the Bodleian Libraries of Oxford and the Suleymaniye Kutuphanesi of Istanbul lead to Sarah’s presentation of “Boundaries and Frontiers in al-Idrisi’s Mediterranean” at the International Conference on the History of Cartography in Antwerp, Belgium, July 2015. In her free time she enjoys writing poetry and also holds creative writing workshops at local homeless shelters.

During the 2014–15 academic year Janice Katz, Roger L. Weston Associate Curator of Japanese Art mentored Sarah. Dan Walker, Christa Thurman Chair, Textiles and Curator of Islamic Art presided over Sarah’s 2015 summer internship. This academic year she will be mentored by curators in the European Painting and Sculpture department: Martha Wolff, Eleanor Wood Prince Curator of European Painting Before 1750; Jonathan Tavares, Mellon/ Rice Curatorial Fellow; and Rebecca Long, Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Associate Curator.


Sheridan Tucker

2014-16 Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellow

Sheridan Tucker

graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a BA in in visual critical studies in May 2015. Sheridan is now pursing a one-year MA in the humanities at the University of Chicago with a full tuition scholarship. Sheridan enjoys researching culturally diverse issues surrounding art. Inspired by community activism and art accessibility, Sheridan hopes to engage and make a positive impact in her community and beyond through art awareness and appreciation. A native Chicagoan, Sheridan hopes to one day become a curator at one of Chicago’s premier museums.

During the 2014-2015 academic year and for her summer internship, Sarah Kelly Oehler, Gilda and Henry Buchbinder Associate Curator of American Art, mentored Sheridan. This academic year Kate Nesin, associate curator of modern and contemporary Art, will mentor Sheridan.


Andrew W. Mellon Summer Academy 2014

Left to right: Kylie Escudero, Maakara Khepra, Sarah Molina, Amanda Cervantes, Kara Franco, Patricia Fleming, Caroline House, Biance Alebiosu, Sandra Lopez, LaAndrea Mitchell, Sue Xu, Shalenie Sanker, Sheridan Tucker, Britney Evans, and Bishal Manandhar


Andrew W. Mellon Summer Academy 2015

Left to right, top to bottom: Itunu Beatrice Ebijimi, Sarah Spalding, Mojolaoluwa Idowu, Hanna Chang, Theodore Watler, Abel Juarez, Ella Krikorian, Yady Rivero, Emily Olek, Lauren Brooks, Sydney Pickens, Jarvis Boyland, Haley Jung, Katia Perez, and Breanna Robinson