By Maria Marroquin
The Vincent Price Art Museum hosted a workshop on Thursday to inform students about the application process for the Summer Academy and Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program at The Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Hilary Walter, the coordinator of Curatorial Fellowships at LACMA and main spokesperson at the workshop said, “We really hope to attract students who are seriously considering to go to graduate school.”
During the summer program, students will learn the technology behind the scenes of the museum, such as how to research and how to do the layout of an art show. After completing the summer academy, students can submit additional information. Out of 15 students, two participants will be selected and awarded the multi-year fellowship program.
Former East Los Angeles College student Saul Quintero was accepted to this program in 2014. From there, he went on to study abroad in London, Mexico and Chile.
He said that the week he spent at LACMA gave him the confidence to study abroad.
What started as curiosity and interest in art history opened other doors for him to experience different paths to take in the arts.
“There is a lot of available opportunity.
There are a lot of paid internships during the summer, and that’s a good way to get that experience,” Quintero said.
Quintero said there are a lot of opportunities and scholarships, but students don’t apply.
He urged event goers to use the resources available to them by going to the Student Center and taking advantage of the help it provides.
The program is supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. It launched in 2013 in partnership with six institutions: The Art Institute of Chicago, the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and LACMA.
The Fellowship Program has a duration of one week for the summer and 15 students are chosen to participate for each partnered museum. During the program, they receive guidance, tours and one-on-one conversations with different mentors. At the end of the week, students will be able to do a presentation of their own to fellow students and staff.
The program’s purpose is to expose students to different fields of study within a museum setting and the different paths that can be taken in the fine arts education, while also diversifying the field.
Art history professor Wendi Brown, who helped host the event along with VPAM said,
“I hope students develop an actual career within the arts, whether it’s a museum, an art gallery or a foundation. I hope for this program to become that platform, to begin that process of being trained and receiving professional training and exposure to professionals.”
She also said there is a huge lack of equality of who is being hired to work at these museums and these programs provide pathways for students coming from underrepresented backgrounds.
According to research done by the Mellon Foundation, only 16 percent of the field is represented by historically underrepresented groups.
After the summer program, students can apply for the two-year fellowship program.
During this time, they will meet with their mentors on a regular basis and they will also participate in a yearly national convening, an annual gathering of all the students and alumni that have participated in the program since its foundation, at one of the partnering museums.
Financial help for housing and travel is available. Students will receive a stipend of $6,000 during the summer program and $4,000 during the academic school year.
For more information on requirements and qualifications, go to www.lacma.org/mellonfellowships. The deadline to apply is March 1.