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ASU-LACMA Fellowship expands, garners $200K from Hearst Foundations

Exterior of the ASU Art Museum.

The ASU Art Museum in Tempe, Arizona.

August 16, 2023

The Phoenix Art Museum and the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art have been announced as the latest partners in the ASU-LACMA Master’s Fellowship in Art History.

The two institutions join the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the ASU Art Museum, the Heard Museum and the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) in a fellowship program that aims to culturally diversify the leadership of art museums in the United States.

Beginning this fall, five new fellows will begin the program.

In addition, earlier this month the Hearst Foundations announced an award in the amount of $200,000 in support of the ASU-LACMA Master’s Fellowship in Art History. The Hearst Foundations fund educational institutions demonstrating uncommon success in preparing students to thrive in a global society.

Founded in 2018, the ASU-LACMA Master’s Fellowship in Art History began as a partnership between Arizona State University and LACMA, and has since expanded to include the Heard Museum and PAMM. The part-time, three-year degree program combines rigorous academic training with on-the-job experience to develop a new generation of diverse museum professionals, including curators, educators, librarians, and administrative staff.

The fellows earn their master’s degree in art history from the ASU School of Art’s distinguished art history program in the Herberger Institute while also working at ASU Art Museum, LACMA, the Heard Museum, PAMM and now either the Phoenix Art Museum or the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art.

“Phoenix Art Museum is excited to become a partner in this important program that provides valuable opportunities for next-generation museum professionals from a diverse range of backgrounds," said Jeremy Mikolajczak, the Sybil Harrington Director and CEO of Phoenix Art Museum. "The museum’s participation in the ASU-LACMA Fellowship advances our goal of ensuring we are actively bringing true equity and diversity to the museum field while providing an important educational and professional development opportunity for our staff members to become leaders and changemakers in the arts.

"The museum’s Board of Trustees, executive leadership, and I extend our congratulations and support to Claudia López, our inaugural PhxArt fellow, and look forward to all she will accomplish as she completes her master’s fellowship over the next three years.”

“This program is transformational, not just for the fellows involved, but for their cities and museums,” said Zoe Kahr, executive director of Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. “I was honored to help launch this program at LACMA and I am thrilled that Memphis and its art museum are now a part of it. Becca Folkes-Lallo is a brilliant inaugural fellow and she will continue to inspire the many young and curious Memphians exploring their art museum."

Since 2022, five fellows have graduated from the ASU-LACMA Master’s Fellowship in Art History. All of the fellows who completed the program have been promoted in their institutions or have new roles with greater responsibility in other institutions. In total, the program currently has 14 fellows, the largest cohort of fellows to date.

Jaclyn M. Roessel has also been appointed as the program’s new administrative director. A citizen of the Navajo Nation and an ASU alumna who holds a master's degree in public administration and a bachelor’s degree in art history, Roessel's museum career spans over 15 years’ experience, including service as the director of Decolonizing Initiatives at the San Diego Museum of Us and at the Heard Museum, in addition to consulting with numerous museums nationally.

ASU School of Art Associate Professor Angélica Afanador-Pujol, who served as director of the program from its inception, is returning from sabbatical this year as academic director. Afanador-Pujol’s research interests include indigenous agency and the social function of art as it intersects with race and ethnic relations, justice, political interests and consumption in early 16th century Mexico.

Meet the incoming cohort of fellows:

Portrait of .

Hope Flores

Hope Flores

Flores earned her bachelor's degree in art history from California State University, Long Beach in 2021. She has worked in the arts since 2015 and has previously held positions at the Museum of Latin American Art, Vincent Price Art Museum, LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes and Self Help Graphics & Art.

Flores is an alum of the Getty Marrow Undergraduate Internship program and was notably the first community college student to earn a Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship at LACMA in 2016–18. She returned to LACMA in late 2021 as a curatorial assistant in the Wallis Annenberg Photography Department.

In her current role, she manages her department’s active acquisition program and has contributed to the recent exhibitions "Barbara Kruger: Thinking of You, I Mean Me, I Mean You" (2022); "City of Cinema: Paris, 1850–1907" (2022); and "Objects of Desire: Photography and the Language of Advertising" (2022).

Flores intends to use her position as an ASU-LACMA Fellow to historicize the resurgence of experimental analog photography in contemporary Latino and post-Chicano art.

Portrait of

Becca Folkes-Lallo

Becca Folkes-Lallo
Memphis Brooks Museum of Art

Folkes-Lallo received her bachelor’s degree in urban studies and media studies with a concentration in film from Rhodes College in 2022.

She joined the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art in 2022 as the school programs coordinator.

In her role, Folkes-Lallo engages students from across the Memphis area in gallery exploration and artmaking.

Deeply influenced by the ways students find themselves in artwork, Folkes-Lallo plans to explore the way Black female artists from the American South use their work as a means of storytelling and community building.

Portrait of .

Julia Han

Julia Han

Han received her bachelor's degree in art history from the University of California, Riverside and a master’s degree in library and information science from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Han joined LACMA in 2011 as the Balch Art Research Library's stacks manager and currently works as a librarian across the Balch Art Research Library and the Robert Gore Rifkind Center for German Expressionist Studies.

At ASU, Han plans to examine issues at the intersection of museums, globalization, and information ethics, with a focus on provenance, repatriation, and indigenous decolonization. She is also interested in exploring the unfolding narratives and ethical issues around North Korean art.

Portrait of .

Claudia López

Claudia López
Phoenix Art Museum

López grew up on the borderlands known as Ciudad Juárez-El Paso. Her Indigenous identity is rooted in northern Mexico where her ancestors are from. 

López migrated to Phoenix as a young adult and obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography from Arizona State University in 2018.

In her current position as the bilingual communications specialist at the Phoenix Art Museum, López leads the museum’s bilingual initiative, helping the institution connect with the Spanish-speaking community. Her curatorial endeavors are centered in people and their stories, while her community-building efforts focus on indigenizing spaces, supporting transborder voices, and unlearning Eurocentric and patriarchal narratives.

As an ASU-LACMA Fellow, López intends to further her research of matrilineal preservation of ancestral knowledge, seeking to build a framework founded on Indigenous ways of thinking, and one that acknowledges BIPOCBlack, Indigenous, people of color identities outside of the binary.

Portrait of .

Ninabah Reid Winton

Ninabah Reid Winton
ASU Art Museum

Reid Winton graduated from ASU in 2016 with a bachelor's degree in digital culture (music). Since then, she has worked on exhibitions at the Heard Museum and at Idyllwild Arts, including "Color Riot! How Color Changed Navajo Textiles" (2019) and "Looking at Us: Examining Institutional Critique" (2022).

In 2022, Winton joined the curatorial department at the ASU Art Museum as an assistant curator.

Her research interests lie in contemporary craft and design, contemporary North American Indigenous art, sound and audio art, textiles and fibers, and material and craft economies. Winton is Diné (Navajo) and is based in downtown Phoenix.

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