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Paid Intern - Betty Bowen Award (Summer Quarter)

Summer Quarter 2019
Application Due Date: April 1, 2019

Title: Betty Bowen Award Intern          

Department/Location: Curatorial (Seattle Art Museum – Downtown offices)

Staff Supervisor: Assistant Curator for Modern & Contemporary Art

Dates: June 2019– November 2019 (exact start date is flexible; exact end date is TBD)

The Betty Bowen Award Intern assists with the planning, organization, and implementation of the annual Betty Bowen Award, an award granted to outstanding visual artists currently living and working in the Pacific Northwest.

Overview: Betty Bowen (1918–1977) was a Washington native and enthusiastic supporter of Northwest artists. Bowen’s friends established the annual Betty Bowen Award as a celebration of her life and to honor and continue her efforts to provide financial support to the artists of the Pacific Northwest. The Betty Bowen Committee was established in 1977 to acknowledge and reward artistic achievement. It is an independent committee whose funds, administration, and promotion are supported by the Seattle Art Museum. The Committee reflects Betty Bowen’s deep interest in working artists of the Pacific Northwest. The primary vehicle for this support is the Betty Bowen Award, which is a non-restricted cash grant given each year to a single artist from Washington, Oregon, or Idaho, and supplemented by the Special Recognition Award and the Kayla Skinner Special Recognition Award.

The Betty Bowen Committee has 16 current members, some of whom have participated since its inception in 1977. The Committee also includes former award winners who rotate as artist members, as well as SAM’s Jon and Mary Shirley Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art.

More information about the Betty Bowen Award can be found on our website at

Project Description: Under the direction of the Assistant Curator for Modern and Contemporary Art, the Betty Bowen Intern will be responsible for helping to organize and administer the Betty Bowen Award. The intern will coordinate and attend committee meetings, promote and support the call for entries, organize artist applications, correspond with artists inquiring about the award, manage communication with the Committee and the artists, as well as produce press releases and manage mailings related to the award.

The Intern will utilize a range of skills including: information organization, project management, community involvement, communication, writing and editing. The intern should be self-started and self-motivated. This internship position reports to the Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. The intern will also work with the Betty Bowen Committee and the Jon and Mary Shirley Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, as well as Northwest artists and other SAM Departments.

Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Gain familiarity with all aspects of the Betty Bowen Award and its history. 
  • Assist the Betty Bowen Committee with all aspects of the Award process.
  • Communicate and assist applicants and finalists with all aspects of the Award process.
  • Work with the Assistant Curator for Modern & Contemporary Art on communication and marketing of the award to SAM membership, NW artists, galleries, and museums.
  • The Intern will be expected to work within a flexible schedule at the Seattle Art Museum’s downtown location.
  • The intern will be expected to work 10-15 hours a week beginning in early June through early September, and 5-7 hours a week from mid-September through early November.  Exact start date and schedule will be determined with the selected candidate.
  • The intern will be expected to work extended hours, from roughly 9am-5pm, on the dates of the three committee meetings, which will be held on August 12, August 13, and September 9. S/he will also be expected to work on the evening of the award ceremony, which typically falls in early November.


  • Currently working towards or recently completed an undergraduate or graduate degree in art history or fine art with a strong interest in Modern and Contemporary and/or Northwest Contemporary Art.
  • Ability to be a self-starter and self-motivated.
  • Ability to work and communicate effectively with staff and volunteers in a professional manner in a variety of tasks.
  • Ability to work and communicate effectively with committee members, artists, and other community groups. 
  • Ability to ask for help and accept supervision and evaluation of your work.
  • Research and organizational experience (filing, document control, etc…).
  • Proficiency using word processing and Excel software. Experience with, or willingness to learn digital imaging software (i.e. Photoshop) and scanning equipment.
  • Abide by the Standards for Museum Volunteers/Interns as outlined in the Volunteer/Intern Packet.

Compensation: $15 per hour.

Physical Requirements:

  • Manual dexterity.
  • Ability to lift up to 20 pounds.


  • General SAM orientation provided by Volunteer/Internship Department.
  • Regular meetings with staff supervisor to evaluate progress and support professional growth.
  • Curriculum requirements can be integrated as needed.
  • Other on-the-job training will be provided as needed.

Application Requirements:

  • Application
  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • Two letters of recommendation (may be submitted separately by the writer to
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