ST. LOUIS, July 25, 2017—Jade Powers has joined the Saint Louis Art Museum as the 2017-2018 Romare Bearden Graduate Museum Fellow. The fellowship aims to build a pool of talented young under-represented professionals to work in art-related fields in museums, galleries, non-profit organizations and universities.
Powers recently completely a master’s degree in religious studies from Indiana University, and she holds a bachelor’s degree in art history and religious studies from DePauw University. Powers’ academic research examines how religious and national identity are displayed through artwork, as well as the formation of national identities after India gained independence from Britain and after Bangladesh separated from Pakistan.
Before her fellowship at the museum, Powers worked as a gallery facilitator at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, where she welcomed families to experience a wide variety of installations. Cross-generational learning is important to Powers, and she is eager to gain experience working with adult audiences.
“For a quarter century, the Saint Louis Art Museum has been committed to providing professional-development opportunities for our Romare Bearden Fellows,” said Brent R. Benjamin, the Barbara B. Taylor Director of the Saint Louis Art Museum. “I am confident that Jade has a promising future as she begins her career in the arts.”
Named for African-American artist Romare Bearden, the one-year paid fellowship is designed to prepare graduate students of color seeking careers as art historians and museum professionals. Fellows gain valuable hands-on experience working throughout the Art Museum on specific assignments tailored to their background and interests. Since the program’s inception in 1992, Bearden Fellows have spent their year teaching, researching works in the collection, developing programming, writing gallery materials and assisting curators with the development of exhibitions.
The fellowship is a critical component in the Art Museum’s long-established campaign to increase diversity among its professional staff, an effort that in 2015 was praised in The Economist. Past fellows have gone on to hold key positions at the Saint Louis Art Museum, as well as at other noteworthy museums and universities, including the Art Institute of Chicago, Taft Museum of Art, John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Institute of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Texas at Austin.
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