The VRAF Internship Award Committee is pleased to announce that Kristine Clark is the recipient of the 2019-2020 VRAF internship.

Kristine received her master’s degree in Museum Studies from Arizona State University in 2019.  She will work with the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art to “bridge the gap between accessible and available” on the museum’s website. Approximately half of SMoCA’s collection of nearly 2,000 objects have been photographed and are available for online viewing. However, one can currently only browse by object type; there are no other means to search for works in the collection. Kristine’s work will focus on image tagging and composing catalog descriptions. She will establish a methodology for creating these tags, including a lexicon of controlled vocabulary terms, which others will be able to apply into the future. If time allows, she will also assist with photographing the remainder of the collection.

Carrie Tovar, Registrar and supervisor for this project, shared that Kristine’s project will allow SMoCA’s online collection to reach an even greater audience, including those who are financially or physically unable to visit in person. She notes that SMoCA is the only museum in Arizona dedicated to contemporary art, architecture, and design, and that its mission embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion. Kristine will explore a culturally sensitive approach to image tagging that is aligned with these organizational values.

VRAF selected Kristine’s proposed project for a number of reasons, including her demonstrated initiative, passion, and record of high achievement; the benefits to her professional development; the opportunity to support the development of standards and best practices within the museum community; the importance of culturally competent practices in the description of museum objects; the benefits to an institution of SMoCA’s size; and the potential to reach diverse communities with diverse content.

Information & Application Procedures

Note: The VRAF Internship Award call for applications goes out in the spring, with instructions and deadlines posted here on this site. Please check back later for our next award cycle.

Award Overview

The Visual Resources Association Foundation (VRAF) Internship Award provides financial support for graduate students preparing for a career in visual resources and image management. The award grants $4,000 to support a period of internship in archives, libraries, museums, visual resources collections in academic institutions, or other appropriate contexts. The recipient receives a stipend of $3,000 for 200 hours completed at the host site. A professional development component of $1,000 supports conference attendance or attendance at the Summer Educational Institute for Visual Resources and Image Management. The recipient receives a one-year complimentary student membership in the Visual Resources Association.

Candidates should apply after developing a project with a specific collection and prospective supervisor. The VRAF Internship Award Committee favors opportunities in which the intern may integrate skills acquired during the course of his or her academic training to manage a project from beginning to end, with the host institution receiving needed help in making valuable but hidden cultural collections visible. Projects that would not occur without funding for an intern may be given special consideration.

The VRAF Internship is generously funded by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. The VRAF Internship Award Committee consists of a VRAF Director as chair, a representative from the VRA Education Committee, a representative from the VRA Awards Committee, and the previous internship recipient.

Who May Apply

Students currently enrolled in, or having completed within the last 24 months, a graduate program in library or information science, art history, architectural history, architecture, visual or studio art, museum studies, or other applicable field of study may apply for this award. Applicants must have completed at least 10 credits of their graduate coursework before the application deadline, or demonstrate an equivalent combination of coursework and relevant experience.

Internship Description

One VRAF Internship is awarded per year. Priority is given to applicants who submit projects that support art historical or related visual cultural heritage research and scholarship. Although the award recipient need not hold US citizenship or be a permanent resident of the US, the recipient must select an institution in the United States to act as host for the internship. This institution must be approved by the VRAF Internship Award Committee. VRAF and VRA are not responsible for matching candidates with a host institution, but will gladly assist with the process. See the list of 2019-2020 host institutions, also available in a map version. Please note that this list is provided as a courtesy to applicants. Other institutions are also eligible to host VRAF interns.

This Internship Award is granted in conjunction with an academic year. The intern is required to work on site at their chosen host institution for a minimum of 200 hours. The intern will choose to initiate their internship in the fall, winter, or spring. The internship must begin within 30 days of the official beginning of the selected academic session of the participant’s home institution and be completed within one academic semester or two academic quarters. Exceptions are allowed by agreement between the selected intern and the VRAF Internship Awards Committee. In all cases, the internship must be completed within twelve months of the recipient being notified of the award.

The intern and the internship supervisor will complete brief evaluations of the internship experience. This report must be received by the VRAF Internship Committee by March 1 of the given academic year. The VRAF Internship Award will provide a stipend of $3,000 to the intern. Half of the award will be granted prior to the internship, with the remainder granted upon completion of the internship and receipt of a letter to the Chair of the VRAF Internship Committee signed by the internship supervisor and the intern stating that the 200 hours have been completed. If the recipient is not a US citizen, the VRAF is required by the IRS to withhold a percentage of this award.

A professional development component of $1,000 is available to support attendance at the annual VRA conference, other appropriate conferences, or the Summer Educational Institute for Visual Resources and Image Management. The recipient will be reimbursed upon submission of receipts and documentation. The award recipient will be formally recognized during the Awards ceremony at the VRA conference.

The recipient receives a one-year complimentary student membership in the Visual Resources Association.

Interns may have the option of receiving academic credit for the internship as part of their graduate course work but are responsible for making those arrangements themselves.

How to Apply

See the instructions posted on our How to Apply for an Internship Award page.

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