The Visual Resources Association Foundation (VRAF) Board of Directors announces the 2019-2020 VRAF Internship Award in visual resources and image management. This award was generously funded by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.

Kristine Clark, of Phoenix, Arizona, is the recipient of the VRA Foundation’s seventh Internship Award. She will receive $3,000 to work a minimum of 200 hours with the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art to “bridge the gap between accessible and available” on the museum’s website. Approximately half of SMoCA’s collection of nearly 2,000 objects has been photographed and is available for online viewing. However, one can currently only browse by object type; there are no other means to search for works in the collection. Kristine’s work will focus on image tagging and composing catalog descriptions. She will establish a methodology for creating these tags, including a lexicon of controlled vocabulary terms, which others will be able to apply in the future. If time allows, she will also assist with photographing the remainder of the collection. 

Carrie Tovar, SMoCA Registrar and supervisor for this project, shared that Kristine’s project will allow the online collection to reach an even greater audience, including those who are financially or physically unable to visit in person. She notes that SMoCA is the only museum in Arizona dedicated to contemporary art, architecture, and design, and that its mission embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion. Kristine will explore a culturally sensitive approach to image tagging that is aligned with these organizational values.

VRAF selected Kristine’s proposed project for a number of reasons, including her demonstrated initiative, passion, and record of high achievement; the benefits to her professional development; the opportunity to support the development of standards and best practices within the museum community; the importance of culturally competent practices in the description of museum objects; the benefits to an institution of SMoCA’s size; and the potential to reach diverse communities with diverse content.

The Foundation is pleased to support the education and practical training of emerging professionals through this internship award. This year the VRAF Internship Award Committee received excellent applications for an array of fascinating and important projects which made the selection process difficult. The Internship Award Committee (Linda Callahan, Marcia Focht, Carolyn Lucarelli, Adelaide McComb, and Elaine Paul, Chair) appreciates the careful thought that went into every proposal. We are grateful to the Kress Foundation for its assistance and for recognizing the potential of this award to foster the next generation of visual resource professionals.

The VRAF Internship Award is part of the Foundation's mission to advance awareness of important issues for effective digital information management (including intellectual property and copyright); encourage the application of professional standards, innovative technology, and metadata cataloging protocols; and to facilitate workplace training. VRAF supports a range of educational offerings to help ensure that such information reaches a diverse, global audience. For more information about the Visual Resources Association Foundation, its mission and projects, as well as giving opportunities, please visit, or read the latest issue of our annual report at


Elaine Paul, MSLIS

Visual Resources Specialist

Department of Art and Art History

University of Colorado Boulder

318 UCB | Boulder, CO 80303


Chair, Visual Resources Association Foundation

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