Spelman College Announces Art Initiative in Partnership With Sotheby’s Institute of Art

Spelman College and Sotheby’s Institute of Art, New York jointly announced that they are embarking on an innovative academic partnership. The initiative between both parties is designed to increase access to art market education for Atlanta University Center Art History + Curatorial Studies Collective undergraduate students.

“Sotheby’s resides at the center of the global art market. Establishing a relationship between Sotheby’s and Spelman enables our aspiring arts professionals to gain invaluable experience at the heart of a dynamic and rapidly changing art world,” said Mary Schmidt Campbell, president of Spelman, in a written statement.

“Through scholarships and the expansion of curricular and co-curricular programming, the SIA-Spelman partnership will become an integral part of the training of African American arts leaders.”

Sotheby’s Institute of Art (SIA) is launching the SIA+Spelman Collective Futures Scholarship, which is an educational initiative that will expand opportunities post graduation in the visual arts. It will be offering one full-tuition scholarship to a student yearly to attend an SIA master’s degree program.

“This partnership provides an exciting opportunity for our inaugural class of art history and curatorial studies graduates while leading the charge to transform the art industry through sustainable educational pathways,” said Cheryl Finley, director of the AUC Art Collective and distinguished visiting professor at Spelman. “We’re delighted to join Sotheby’s Institute of Art, New York, a global pioneer of art business education, in this cutting-edge collaboration.”

A lecture series is being initiated that will cover a range of topics from art and art markets of the African diaspora to art valuation, law and careers. An annual symposium will also be in place to offer long-term networking, mentorship and career development opportunities. The first major event will happen virtually during the spring 2021 semester and will feature a convening focused on implementing strategies for structural change in the art industry.

“In our 50-year history as pioneers of art market education, we are honored to partner with the AUC Art Collective to take this important step forward to broaden African American and African Diasporic art history in our graduate curriculum and to help foster a more diverse and inclusive global art world for the future,” said Christine Kuan, CEO and director of SIA.