UVA Arts, University of Virginia

Vol 09 Winter 18 Library
Melanie Pyne, Registrar at The Fralin Museum of Art, gives Mellon Museum Interns a tour behind-the-scenes during summer orientation. (Credit: Leah Stearns)
Mellon Indigenous Arts Program

Mellon Museum Interns, Near & Far

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The 2018 class of Mellon Museum interns went from the top of the world, to the ends of the earth on their respective museum internship journeys. They covered material that dates back centuries, covering lost cultures and found ones, ancient masterpieces and modern marvels, and more. They connected generations and cultures. And they brought priceless experience back with them. Here are just a few snapshots of their experiences: Courtney Roark (College ‘19) dug deep into Virginia’s Native American heritage, uploading more than 200 artifact photos to the Virginia Indian Digital Archives on her way to creating three online exhibits. Callie Collins (College ‘20) traveled to the remote Aboriginal community of Milingimbi for a once-in-a-lifetime cultural experience. Tarin Jones (Architecture ‘20) worked with Thinc Design in New York, using a variety of programs and hand-drawing to help bring colleagues’ ideas to life. Closer to home, Maxwell Johnson (College ‘19) explored local history at the Scottsville Museum, studying the built environment of the historic African American community of Esmont and talking to longtime residents, and making connections between generations for a feature that will be included in the museum’s website. Sade Akinbayo (College ‘19) was also exploring past generations, including working at the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center to digitize Jefferson School yearbooks published between 1940 and 1951. At Roanoke’s Taubman Museum of Art, Gabrielle Pfaeffle (College ‘19) helped enhance the visitors’ experience by expanding the audio tour program and conducting interviews of Southwest Virginia-based refugees and African immigrants for use in a companion project to an exhibit there. Cameron Fleming (Curry ‘18) worked on creative community engagement efforts around the Napoleon: Power and Splendor exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art in Richmond, VA. Caitlin Green (Curry ‘19) worked as an education intern at Kluge-Ruhe, writing text for upcoming exhibitions, teacher guides, and helping with public programs. Kluge-Ruhe also hosted Kendall Stevens (College ‘19), who helped maintain the museum’s exhibition spaces and collection database. Meanwhile, at The Fralin, students Cori Doyle (College ‘19), Rebekah Boggs (College ‘20), Ian MacPherson (Architecture ‘21), and Gabrielle Fuller (College ‘19) learned a series of valuable lessons about the behind-the-scenes work it takes to run a fine arts museum. Doyle and Fuller performed tasks ranging from inventory and organization of collections, to handling and packing, to building a table to help those spending endless hours in the matting room! Boggs and MacPherson worked closely with the education department to engage visitors through community outreach programs including art activities for children and the Writer’s Eye publication. 

Sade Akinbayo, intern at Jefferson School African American Heritage Center helped digitize and archive yearbooks from years 1940-1951. Part of this process involved creating tables of contents and detailed notes about the events and achievements documented in each yearbook (pcitured here).
(Photo: Sade Akinbayo)
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