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DAMLI Tina Dunkley Fellowship in American Art


The Tina Dunkley Fellowship in American Art is a post-baccalaureate fellowship providing hands-on training in curatorial practice and museum professions to individuals from historically underrepresented groups who have expressed interest in the field of American art. The fellowship seeks to provide access, exposure, and experience in several forms of professional activities in three museums of varied scale with collections focused on American art. It emphasizes deep, high-quality institutional immersion and engagement with the selected fellows to maximize and offer the strongest facilitation of their desire to pursue museum professions. 

The fellowship consists of three consecutive, paid placements at Clark Atlanta University Art Museum (CAUAM), the Zuckerman Museum of Art (ZMA) at Kennesaw State University, and a residency at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA). Work placements will focus on the development of exhibitions and programs; working with museum collections; conducting research about works of art; and administrative support. Fellows will move through the placements together, working individually and collaboratively as a cohort. Undergraduate seniors, and individuals who have graduated within the past two years are eligible.

Fellows will regularly meet with high-level museum staff supervisors to receive mentorship, encouragement, and feedback. During the ZMA placement, fellows will receive VTS training from the education department managers. The capstone achievement of each placement is the development and realization of a public program, exhibition, or publication within each 11-month placement, in the museum department/focus of the fellows’ choice.

The two-year fellowship will begin July 9, 2018 with three-month initial placement at CAUAM and the ZMA, followed by a PAFA residency that will take place between October – December, 2018. Additionally, CAUAM and ZMA staff will collaborate to offer a research and development trip to an arts-centered destination outside Atlanta and Philadelphia.

The fellowship provides a competitive salary of $35,000/year, and a travel stipend. Undergraduate seniors, and individuals who have graduated within the past two years from bachelor’s and master’s programs are eligible.


2018-2020 Curatorial Fellows 


Nzinga Simmons is an art history scholar, writer and curator based in Atlanta, Georgia. She currently serves as a Tina Dunkley Curatorial Fellow in American Art at the Clark Atlanta University Art Museum. Prior to her work in Atlanta, she received a B.A. in Art History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a focus on works of art from Africa and the African Diaspora. Through her writing and curatorial practice, she aims to highlight the significant contributions of often marginalized artists to the canon of American art.

TK Smith is a curator, writer, and critic. He currently serves as a Tina Dunkley curatorial fellow in American Art at Clark Atlanta University Art Museum. Originally from Iowa, Smith has recently relocated to Atlanta from St. Louis where he received his master’s in American Studies from Saint Louis University.


Tina Dunkley Fellows Exhibitions


UNBOUND and Looming Chaos are the cumulative project of the inaugural Tina Dunkley Curatorial Fellows Nzinga Simmons and TK Smith. The exhibitions approach abstraction and its use in interrogating identity, politics, and artistic expression. The multi-institutional, cross-regional curatorial fellowship is a collaborative project between Clark Atlanta University Art Museum, the Zuckerman Museum of Art, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Created by Dr. Maurita Poole (CAUAM), Justin Rabideau (ZMA), and Brooke Davis Anderson (PAFA) the fellowship is meant to foster the next generation of museum professionals. The exhibitions will be on view at the Bernard A. Zuckerman Museum of Art at Kennesaw State University.

Clark Atlanta University Art Museum in collaboration with the Zuckerman Museum of Art presents the Tina Dunkley Fellows exhibition opening January 25th at the Zuckerman Museum of Art.

Press Release

Nzinga Simmons, Tina Dunkley Curatorial Fellowship 2018-20  

UNBOUND brings together a multigenerational group of artists whose work takes an inventive and experimental approach to abstraction. Their works consider the essential elements of abstract painting: color, form, gesture, line, and space, through unorthodox use of materials that break the confines of a rectangular canvas, and implode the boundaries between painting, sculpture, and installation. The works on view hang, stretch, tether, and dangle off the walls, breaking free from the bounds of figuration, and complicating the boundaries of painting itself. UNBOUND features the works of Romare Bearden, Sam Gilliam, Joe Overstreet, Eric N. Mack, Anthony Akinbola, Krista Clark, and Tariku Shiferaw.

Romare Bearden, Snow Morning

TK Smith, Tina Dunkley Curatorial Fellowship 2018-20


Looming Chaos is a solo exhibition of Atlanta, based artist Zipporah Camille Thompson. The exhibition explores the artist’s use of weaving to engage ideas of chaos. Thompson conceptualizes chaos as the tensions associated with personal and universal experiences of disaster and catastrophe. Her weaving practice enables her to materialize the destruction, disorder, and confusions of the world, transforming them into fantastical fiber abstractions. The deterioration of the environment, tumultuous personal histories, and the complexities of her own identity become fodder for creation.