Friends of Art awards internship prizes to two Sweet Briar students

Posted on May 05, 2017 by Janika Carey

Sweet Briar College’s Friends of Art has awarded two student prizes in the amount of $2,500 each to underwrite summer internships. The Museum Internship Prize went to Kimberly Colbert ’18, while Alexa Dahlin ’18 received the Creative Visual Arts Internship Prize.

Kimberly Colbert Kimberly Colbert ’18 studied comics for her Honors Summer Research last year.

Both prizes are intended to help with general costs such as living expenses and travel. Recipients must take the internship for academic credit at Sweet Briar and work a minimum of 120 hours to receive three credit hours.

“The Friends of Art demonstrates with these prizes a strong commitment to encouraging students to explore opportunities in the museum world and in arts careers,” said Sweet Briar galleries and museum director Karol Lawson, who served on the jury.

“The recipients are bright, dedicated students devoted to building a strong educational foundation for themselves, as well as exploring exciting professional opportunities off campus.”

The jury also included Barb Watts, director of career services, and Friends of Art board member Katie Keogh Weidner ’88, who echoed Lawson’s praise.

“Clearly these young women are motivated and respected by their teachers. Both students had inspiring recommendations and have earned this,” Weidner said.

Watts noted that the Friends of Art’s support of arts-centered internships is particularly valuable to students, and can make a big impact on their careers.

“Learning opportunities in arts-related organizations do not typically come with funding,” Watts said. “Prizes like these give students the opportunity to delve into a career experience that they would typically not pursue.”

Both students, she added, “have worked diligently this past year to carve out and pursue unique career growth opportunities. I am excited for the opportunity this prize will provide them.”

Colbert, an art history major who is pursuing an arts management certificate, will head to Washington, D.C., to intern at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. The museum’s mission of celebrating women artists both past and present is something Colbert can get behind.

“I’m also always excited to take part in activities that encourage others to be creative and connected to the past,” she said.

Colbert became familiar with the museum last year when she studied the portrayal of women in mainstream superhero comics for her Honors Summer Research project.

Alexa Dahlin Student-athlete Alexa Dahlin ’18 will intern in Charlottesville this summer.

She says the internship prize was a blessing.

“I had some concerns about whether I could accept this internship, due to some logistical issues, but winning the Friends of Art Internship Prize has eased all of my concerns,” said the Maryland native. “It is my goal to work as a librarian at either an animation studio or an art museum, so I am excited that this internship is allowing me to explore my career goals before I have even completed my undergraduate studies.”

If you ask Weidner, the award is well deserved.

“Kimberly had a thoughtful and well-written essay that made me feel a connection to her, and her grades are exemplary,” Weidner said.

Alexa Dahlin, a business major who is also pursuing an arts management certificate, will use her award to intern with The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative in Charlottesville. She will help with the organization’s public outreach efforts, events planning and fundraising.

“I was extremely thrilled when I found out that I had won the FOA internship prize,” Dahlin said. “It gives me the freedom to pursue an unpaid internship that I am truly interested in.”

Weidner was impressed with Dahlin’s achievements in an outside the classroom.

“I loved that Alexa is both an athlete and an accomplished student — she has a broad range of interests which endeared me to her,” Weidner said. “As an alumna of Sweet Briar, I love getting to know students, and as a mother of children the same age as Alexa and Kimberly, I feel so proud of both of them!”

The Friends of Art is a philanthropic organization comprising alumnae, students, faculty, staff, friends and neighbors of Sweet Briar College that encourages the study and enjoyment of the visual arts on campus by supporting art acquisitions and educational programs. For more information, contact Lawson at or (434) 381-6248.