Art History Majors Intern and Study at Sotheby’s and the Guggenheim

Art History Majors Intern and Study at Sotheby’s and the Guggenheim

The future is blooming brighter than Van Gogh’s Sunflowers for three of Fairfield’s art history and visual culture majors. Seniors Michelle Rakowsky ’17, Shea Spiller ’17 and Isabel Telonis ’17 were accepted into highly competitive programs at three world-renowned art institutions.

Rakowsky, a theatre and art history double major, will put her Italian minor to good use this October when she travels to Europe for a five-month internship at Italy’s foremost modern art museum, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice. The extremely competitive, international internship is the only one of its kind in Italy, and out of last year’s 1,200 applicants, only 28 were accepted from the U.S. Rakowsky, who studied abroad at the Florence University of the Arts last spring, will assist with the museum’s daily operations, which include preparing gallery spaces, coordinating educational activities and serving as a docent. She and fellow interns will also participate in conferences, seminars and cultural trips to art exhibitions and historical sites located throughout the country.

Art history and French double major Shea Spiller lent her talents to the Guggenheim legacy over the spring semester. The Humanities Institute fellow interned at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City, where she worked in the Department of Institutional Development. Following a competitive application process, the former Fairfield University Art Museum (FUAM) intern was hired less than 24 hours after her initial interview. In addition to writing proposals, corresponding with donors, and researching funding opportunities, Spiller also participated in efforts to increase the Guggenheim’s online presence.

Fellow art history and French double major Isabel Telonis will begin her own adventure in NYC this fall. The former FUAM intern and recent Phi Beta Kappa inductee was accepted into the prestigious Sotheby’s Institute of Art master’s program in New York City where she will concentrate her studies in art business. Located in one of the most important centers of the art trade, Sotheby’s offers comprehensive courses in art law, marketing and strategy, and finance for students seeking careers in the international art world. As part of her studies, Telonis will have the opportunity to network with art professionals across the world and travel to local and international destinations, where she will visit exhibitions, art fairs and private collections.

Telonis, Spiller and Rakowsky credit their internships and post-graduate opportunities to the support and encouragement of their art history professors.