Crake Internships

What they are and how to apply.

On September 29, the J.E.A Crake Foundation released a call for submissions for their annual internships. These internships allow students to work on interdisciplinary projects typically in fields surrounding the arts. The internships are funded by the J.E.A Crake Foundation. “The Crake Foundation is very clear that they are looking for interdisciplinary projects that are in collaboration between students and faculty,” said head of the committee and Drama Studies professor Dr. Glen Nichols.

The J.E.A Crake Foundation is a charitable foundation that donates money for various causes at Mt.A and other institutions. Each year, a committee consists of professors from different disciplines representing Fine Arts, Creative Writing, Drama, Music, and Visual and Material Cultures along with student representatives. This committee reviews the application and gives out the internships. There are three internships, each valued at one thousand dollars.

Nichols, who has worked on the committee in past years said that “the applications are always incredibly interesting, and it is so inspiring to see what students are thinking about doing and to be able to help them reach their next goals.” His advice for students interested in applying is to “work with your faculty mentor while developing your project, don’t feel that you have to do it all by yourself. Use your facility collaborator to help frame the best application you can.”

“I think the Crake Foundation Internships are a very good opportunity for students to bring a project to fruition with financial support, and even just the process of putting the application together is useful experience for future professional contexts,” said Fine-Arts professor Dr. Chris Dawn, who was the chair of the committee last year.

“My favourite part of the job was reading the applications and getting excited about the proposed projects,” said Dawn, who added onto this by saying this part was also the most challenging. “There were a number of very strong proposals last year, and choosing between them was hard.”

Emily Shaw, a fourth-year BFA student, was one of the recipients of the Crake internships last year. “I decided to apply for the internship after a recommendation from one of my professors. I had studied a particular painting by Max Ernst called Europe after the Rain II the previous year and I learned that it would be featured in an exhibition in Hartford, Connecticut. The piece was a surreal depiction of post-WW2 Europe, painted by the artist as he was fleeing Nazi occupied France. The exhibition featured how many modern artists used surrealism to express their anxieties towards WW1, WW2, and the Spanish Civil War. I was fascinated by the history and relevance of the exhibit and my professor suggested I apply so I could travel to the US so I could properly research the piece and create a response.”

Shaw went on to describe her final project. “My project consisted of an installation of several abstract, sevenish foot [tall] sculptural pieces covered in coloured yarn of different thicknesses. I was interested in the concept of “the Degenerate Artist”; Modern Artists deemed inferior by the Nazi’s. I love art that’s surreal and absurd and I try to encompass that in my own practice. I figured that if I was alive then, I would have been considered one too. So, in response, I recreated elements of Europe After the Rain II but degenerated the piece even further by using textiles which are often seen as childish, feminine, and absurd. A ‘you thought that was bad!’ sort of attitude.”

“I learned a lot from my experience through the Crake Internship,” Shaw continued. “This was an awesome experiential learning opportunity as I was working and researching art beyond the classroom. I also learned a lot about textile processes and the visual and material culture associated with it. Through the internship, I was able to learn textile practices that have led me to study artists such as Sheila Hicks and learn how to weave. I have also studied and adopted theories from Surrealists artists that I have been using to inform my practice especially that of my video, performance, and installation art. “

“My advice to students looking to apply is to be curious, be flexible, and have a sense of humour. Pursue your passions and let them take you and not the other way around. Find an advisor who shares that passion and will help you to develop a strong proposal. Use your time wisely and have fun with it.” 

All full-time students in good academic standing are eligible to apply for the J.E.A Crake internship. To apply, students must submit a 300 word application to Dr. Nichols that gives a description of what your projects would consist of. Dr. Nichols suggests using concise language that a reader not in your discipline would also be able to understand. The deadline for applications is October 19th.

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