Endowed fund to provide art internships for Sarah Lawrence students

Sarah Lawrence College is pleased to announce the inauguration of The Annette McGuire Cravens '45 Internship in Visual Culture to be awarded to one or more Sarah Lawrence College students concentrating in the visual arts. A gift from alumna Annette Cravens to the College creates an endowed fund to support internships in arts-related organizations, which will be awarded based on need and project merit. The stipends will enable selected students to pursue internships, fast becoming an essential bridge between college and career, in the fields of visual arts and visual culture.

A resident of Buffalo, N.Y., Annette Cravens is well-known in her community for her collection of modern art, archeological and ethnographic objects. In making the gift, which is intended for internships in which students are given the opportunity to interact with art objects, Cravens drew on her philosophy of collecting. "Each individual piece, whether it’s a painting, a sculpture, or medical instrument should speak to the observer and tell its story," she says.

This gift to the College will allow students the opportunity to explore careers in visual arts and gain valuable "hands-on" experience with "authentic" objects and works of art in museums, galleries, exhibition spaces, community centers, and other cultural venues. The interns, who will conclude their experience with a report and presentation to the College community, are also encouraged to share their experiences with the communities in which they work.

"Few internships in the field of visual arts offer a stipend or other compensation," says Dean of the College Jerrilynn Dodds, an art historian. "Many of our excellent students simply cannot afford to accept an unpaid internship."

"The ability to support our students in internships in the visual arts will enable the College to further engage and develop our already impressive network of accomplished alumni in the field," says President Karen Lawrence. "These internships could in time lead to the distinguished arts-related positions SLC alumni currently hold," she added.

Among Sarah Lawrence alumni currently in key positions at leading major cultural institutions are: Nancy Spector, deputy director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in NYC; Jacquelyn Serwer, chief curator of the newly opened Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C.; Linda Shearer, executive director of Houston’s Project Row Houses; Sarah Boehme, managing director of the Stark Museum of Art in Orange, Texas; and Karen Spaulding, deputy director of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, N.Y.