ST. LOUIS, Sept. 12, 2016— Yvonne Osei has joined the Saint Louis Art Museum as the 2016-17 Romare Bearden Graduate Minority Fellow. The fellowship aims to build a pool of talented young minority professionals to work in art-related fields in museums, galleries, non-profit organizations and universities.
Osei recently completed a master of fine arts degree in visual arts at Washington University in St. Louis and holds bachelor degrees with concentrations in graphic design and international studies from Webster University. A performance and video artist, Osei recently showed work in the exhibition Yvonne Osei: Africa Clothe Me Bare at the Bruno David Gallery in St. Louis.
A German-born Ghanaian, Osei spent six years studying and working in the United States. She has taught in the St. Louis Public Schools, worked as lead art program instructor for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis, and volunteered for the International Welcoming School in St. Louis to teach visual literacy to young refugee and immigrant students from various parts of the world.
“Yvonne’s background as an educator and an artist, as well as her commitment to public service, makes her an ideal fit for the Romare Bearden Fellowship,” said Brent R. Benjamin, the Barbara B. Taylor director of the Saint Louis Art Museum. “I am confident that she will enjoy a successful future in the arts.”
Named for African-American artist Romare Bearden, the one-year paid fellowship is designed to prepare minority graduate students 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 Wadsworth Atheneum, the Chrysler Museum of Art, the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Texas at Austin.
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