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Mellon Fellow Kéla Jackson, C’2019, Curates High Museum Exhibition

January 2019

Kela JacksonKéla Jackson, C’2019, an art history major and African Diaspora Studies minor, curated “Diasporic Connections,” currently on view at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. The exhibition culminates her two years as a Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellow.

The eight-piece exhibition tells a story about the transatlantic connections between artists from West Africa and contemporary stateside practitioners like William Edmondson and Radcliffe Bailey.

In an article written by Gail O'Neill for ArtsATL, Jackson said, “Being a part of Spelman’s inaugural curatorial studies program really opened my eyes to the value of simply seeing yourself in the person that holds the position or career you aspire to hold,” said Jackson.

Established in 2013, the paid program offers specialized training and mentoring in the curatorial profession for historically underrepresented students interested in pursuing careers in the museum field.

Fellows were afforded an opportunity to survey global museum and exhibition history, as well as examine the increasingly significant role of contemporary art museums today. The students also participated in paid summer internships at prominent museums in major cities, including New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Atlanta.

“Both programs have afforded me connections and resources in the art world. There is a need to revitalize museums and keep them relevant, and the Mellon Foundation supports the initiative by cultivating new and diverse minds,” said Jackson.

This article originally appeared in the Spelman Connection.