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For Kelsey Sherman ’20, Clark Internship is By Design

Kelsey Sherman ’20 at her desk at The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass. Sherman has a design internship there that will continue through summer 2019.

The pivotal moment for Kelsey Sherman ’20 came during her intermediate design course: As she worked on a class project, Art Professor Melanie Mowinski took notice. “You’re a graphic designer,” she said.

“That stuck with me,” says Sherman. “It meant a lot when she said that, and it made me really think about what I was doing here.”

Sherman, who is from Bennington, Vt., initially started as a double major in arts and elementary school education—but Mowinski’s comment ended up launching her on a different trajectory. She’s now an art major with a minor in arts management and a concentration in design—and is building her skills through a design internship at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Museum in Williamstown. She’s currently acting as a TA for Mowinski’s intermediate design class.

Graphic Design Internship

An ad Sherman created during her internship (above).

At the Clark, Sherman has worked on ads, postcards, and programs for upcoming events and exhibits, created membership benefit cards for MCLA and Williams College students, and helped revise the museum’s trail guide, among other projects. She also works on production, helping ready files for printing. She was excited when her proposed design for a children’s educational activity table at the museum’s Manton Research Center was chosen over other proposals—and when she saw it in person, printed to full size, “I was in awe.”

Sherman is also learning about branding, working within the confines of the museum’s already established artistic guidelines. “It’s amazing to see my work and design choices within the brand—and it’s amazing to see that printed, on paper, in people’s hands,” she said.

During the semester, Sherman is working one day a week while she attends MCLA full-time. Her internship will carry over into summer 2019, where she’ll put in 10-15 hours per week. She says she is grateful to Mowinski, who shared the internship info with her after receiving an email from the Clark’s communications staff.

Arts Management and Museum Work

When Sherman was learning about MCLA’s academic programs, arts management spoke to her. She had stage-managed for her high school theatre program, and her love for art “stemmed back to when I was in elementary school”—but the idea of an arts management program was new to her.

Before working at the Clark, Sherman worked as a research intern with Arts Management Professor Lisa Donovan, and ended up creating a design identity for Donovan’s C4 Initiative, a project centered around building a countywide blueprint for arts education. “I ended up doing more and more,” Sherman says—logos, web design, etc. She later listed Donovan as a reference when applying to The Clark.

Sherman says she is grateful for the support of her professors, whose networking connections regularly help MCLA students land jobs, internships, and other opportunities. “They’re always coming up with ideas that are so beneficial to students—and they’re always there to help,” she said.

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