VCU English Major is Helping the VMFA

March 20, 2019

Jacynth Serrano Rodriguez, who is majoring in English with minors in art history and media studies, is interning at the VMFA as one of three interns across the country who are part of a new grant program supported by the Atlanta-based Souls Grown Deep Foundation.

Rodriguez is working with curators at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts to continue research on artworks acquired by the museum in 2018. The works by African-American artists will be the subject of an exhibition opening June 8, titled “Cosmologies from the Tree of Life: Art from the African American South.”

VMFA is one of three U.S. art museums participating in the program, which provides paid internships to undergraduate students of color and helps them gain professional experience in curation, conservation, education, administration and other roles.

In May 2018, VMFA acquired 34 artworks by African-American artists from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation, which is dedicated to documenting, preserving and promoting the contributions of artists from the African-American South, and the cultural traditions in which they are rooted.

“Every day I walk in and I can’t believe I get to work there,” Rodriguez said. “It’s insane. The office is so posh; the people are so nice but also so accomplished. It can be hard not to be intimidated, but I just keep thinking about how lucky I am to be in the same room as some of these people.” To read more about Jacynth's experience, see her feature in VCU News.