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Williams College Museum of Art Announces the 2013 Recipients of the Fulkerson Award for Leadership in the Arts

For immediate release: May 31, 2013

The Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA) is pleased to announce the 2013 recipients of the Fulkerson Award for Leadership in the Arts: Deena Bak, Williams College, Class of 2013; and Elizabeth Rooklidge, Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art, Class of 2013.

This award, administered by WCMA, recognizes an outstanding Williams senior and a second year graduate student in the history of art for their initiative in raising awareness of the visual arts on campus and showing the characteristics of future arts leaders. Deena Bak and Elizabeth Rooklidge will each have the unique opportunity to meet with a prominent Williams alumni leader in the arts. They will also receive an American Association of Museums (AAM) membership for three years.

Students must be nominated for this award and write an essay detailing what leadership in the arts means to them.  A committee comprised of members of the museum staff and Art Department faculty reviewed applicants and evaluated them on the following criteria: creativity, maturity, communication skills and potential for future leadership. Both awardees have demonstrated initiative, energy, and passion for serving the community through an engagement with art.

Deena Bak will receive her B.A. in Studio Art this June. Originally from the small town of Cheshire, Massachusetts, Bak primarily paints the macabre. She has been an active member of the Williams arts community, serving as a studio art assistant for five semesters, volunteering as a Museum Associate at the Williams College Museum of Art, leading painting workshops for teachers from the Berkshire area, and delivering guest lectures at WCMA. As president of WCMA’s Student Advisory Council, Bak designed a new program of free drawing classes in the museum. She previously worked as a teaching assistant at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Bak is also the 2013 recipient of the Berkshire Art Association Fellowship Award. She intends to pursue a career in museum education.

Elizabeth Rooklidge will receive her M.A. in the History of Art this June when she presents her qualifying paper on Wallace Berman’s Verifax collage Radio/Aether, a work from the Williams College Museum of Art’s collection. Rooklidge received her B.A. in Art History from St. Olaf College in 2009. Before coming to Williams, she held internships at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and Minneapolis non-profit gallery Midway Contemporary Art. Last summer, she held an internship at the Whitney Museum of American Art. For the last two years, she served as a curatorial intern at WCMA, where she curated the exhibition Cosmologies, which was on view in the fall of 2012 and featured works from the Museum’s collection. She also served on the Graduate Student Proseminar Committee, which organized a panel of museum directors to speak to students about careers in museum leadership.

The Fulkerson Fund for Leadership in the Arts was established by Allan Fulkerson, Williams College, Class of 1954. The fund provides intimate opportunities for students to interact with key art world figures; encourages mentoring of Williams students by professionals and Williams alumni in the arts field; creates opportunities that enable students to connect with local arts leadership, institutions, and resources; and empowers students by making available space and resources for student-initiated experiential projects. The fund also provides for the Fulkerson Award to be given out annually.