Gadsden Arts employee Alexis Assam has been selected as the 25th Romare Bearden Fellow at the prestigious St. Louis Art Museum.
The highly competitive Romare Bearden Graduate Minority Museum Fellowship is a one-year, paid fellowship designed to prepare graduate students from underrepresented minorities for careers as art historians and museum professionals.
The Fellowship will allow Assam to work throughout the St. Louis Art Museum in various departments and work on projects tailored to her curatorial interests. This fellowship also includes a two-week component in New York where Ms. Assam will be working at the Romare Bearden Foundation.
“I am thrilled to see Alexis moving onto the national scene as a museum professional,” said Grace Robinson, Gadsden Arts executive director. “We are very fortunate at Gadsden Arts to work with a number of capable undergraduate and graduate students from Florida State University. They spend anywhere from a semester with us as interns to several years with us as young professional staff, and then it is our privilege to help them move forward in our field – we are thrilled to help develop the next generation of art museum professionals.”
Assam said she believes her experience at Gadsden Arts was critical in her selection to the prestigious fellowship.
“My experience at the Gadsden Arts Center and Museum set me apart from the other candidates for this fellowship, due to the breadth of professional experiences I gained working here. I write the monthly E-news for the museum, which allowed me to directly connect with the marketing director at [St. Louis Art Museum] during my group interview,” Assam said. “My experience writing grants at [Gadsden Arts Center and Museum] stood out to the hiring committee as an important and applicable skill. My engagement with children and families through the ArtZone also demonstrated an important component – one of my weekly fellowship projects will be leading the Arts in the Basic Curriculum Program, which engages fourth and fifth grade students in engaging tours of the museum.
The same also applies to my experience with curatorial work at Gadsden Arts. I have written many condition reports, exhibition labels, and have helped install work. Hiring committee members were looking for a candidate who would excel juggling many different responsibilities and work well across departments.”
Despite her long list of duties at Gadsden Arts, Assam said working at the downtown Quincy art center and museum has been among her greatest experiences.
“My experience at Gadsden Arts has honestly been the best job I have ever had,” Assam said. “The sense community I have felt and the mentorship I have received from Anissa, Grace and Angie has been invaluable. I learned so many new skills and have been given responsibilities to do projects that pushed me and helped me grow as a museum professional. As a result, I feel confident as I step forward into my career.”
Assam begins her fellowship at the St. Louis Art Museum July 16; she will be featured on the St. Louis Art Museum website in July, as well.
For more information about about the Romare Bearden Fellowship and the St. Louis Art Museum, visit blogs.slam.org/pressroom.
For more information on the Gadsden Arts Center and Museum, call (850) 875-4866 or visit www.gadsdenarts.org.
Special to The Herald
Cover Photo: Alexis Assam (L) and Gadsden Arts curator Angie Barry discuss the installation of a new art showcase.