Matthew Fields, a junior art and design major at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, will intern at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, part of the Smithsonian Institution at Washington, D.C.


A native of St. Louis, Fields will attend a 10-week Undergraduate Conservation Internship program beginning Monday, June 4, according to a news release.


“This is once in a lifetime opportunity for Matthew; he has shown leadership and a genuine interest in the museum conservation profession,” said Danny Campbell, chairman of the UAPB Department of Art and Design. “I feel if he continues this personal interest, he will become a well sought-after museum conservator in a few years.”


The UAPB Office of Career Services introduced Fields to the Smithsonian program, which is designed to introduce underrepresented students to the museum conservation and restoration profession.


“Interns will be involved in the process of preserving the museum’s collections, including documentation, treatment, and research,” according to the release. “Intern conservators will gain multi-disciplinary experiences in learning about historical objects, paintings, textiles, paper, time-based media, and other remarkable materials. Students will explore the most advanced equipment and materials used for conservation practices, industry standards, and educational experiences.”


Fields will learn through a practical cooperative learning style and connect with peers across the nation.


Participants selected for the Smithsonian Institution Internships must have maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and completed coursework in the sciences and the arts.


Students must also have an interest in the museum conservation setting and be able to attend the internship June 4 through Aug. 10. Interns will be full-time and carry 40 hours/week workload. They will be paid $600 per week, with travel allowances and housing support included, according to the release.


“The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex, with 19 museums and the National Zoo — shaping the future by preserving heritage, discovering new knowledge, and sharing resources with the world. The Institution was founded in 1846 with funds from the Englishman James Smithson (1765–1829) according to his wishes ‘under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge’,” according to the release.