In The News
FIA Program Trains Future Museum Professionals
Through its internship program, the FIA Curatorial Department creates professional opportunities for undergraduate- and graduate students seeking to enter the museum field. Several FIA interns have gone on to graduate programs in art history and have been employed by museums or art galleries. The internship is project-based so that the intern can begin and complete a task within a semester, which then can be listed as work product on their resume.
In summer 2016, Xuanrong Lu, a graduate student majoring in Arts Administration at the University of Michigan-Flint, interned with the department. Lu is from Guilin, China, with a scholarly interest in Chinese art. She curated the Art of Jade exhibition, now on view in the Ann K. Walch-Chan Gallery Decorative Arts Gallery (see pages 5–6). About her experience, Lu wrote, “Field practices at an institution like the FIA can be very beneficial for students majoring in art-related fields, and the experiences I’ve had in this museum has been especially meaningful. Collaborating with the FIA staff on the jade exhibition enabled me to go through the whole process of putting on an exhibition, from concept to installation. It also further enhanced my curatorial writing skills in English and my ability to put theoretical studies and object research into public art education via a logical narrative and visual presentation. The professional training, insightful discussions, and the care I received during my internship, all made the time I spent at the FIA, no doubt, among the most memorable in my life abroad.”

Fired Up
Xuanrong Lu, a graduate student majoring in Arts Administration at the University of Michigan-Flint.

grant from PNC for children's art program

As the lead crisis remains at the forefront of citizens’ concerns, The Flint Institute of Arts has received a $100,000 grant from the PNC Foundation to support a new Head Start-based Success through Art (START) program designed to benefit children, ages 3 to 5, who are participating in the Head Start, Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) and Child Care Network of Flint.

The grant from the PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC), will allow the Flint Institute of Arts to reach 3,100 Flint-area preschool children each year for the next three years. Representatives from the Flint Institute of Arts will provide training, primarily in classrooms, that will focus on language, early literacy, cognitive skill, math and emotional skill development—areas that have been identified as challenging for children who have been exposed to lead.

“PNC is committed to strengthening the communities where we do business,” said Tim Salisbury, PNC regional president for Mid-Michigan. “This program will focus on the long-term well-being of Flint’s most vulnerable residents—children aged 3 to 5—by addressing the well-known link between early childhood arts education and higher achievement in other cognitive and academic domains.“

In addition to the educational sessions provided by the Flint Institute of Arts, each participating family will receive family literacy kits, as well as PNC Grow Up Great passports and digital book downloads.

“The START program is ideal for providing multisensory and experiential learning and an art-rich environment to support creative development and improve school readiness of children from the ages of three to five,” said Monique M. Desormeau, Flint Institute of Arts Curator of Education.

To learn more about the PNC Grow Up Great initiative, go to Follow PNC at and

The Education Department welcomed representatives from PNC Foundation as they presented a grant award to support the expansion of the Head Start-based Success Through ART (START) program designed to benefit children ages 3 to 5 who are participating in Head Start, Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) and Child Care Network of Flint.

Pictured, from left to right, are Suzanne Joseph, PNC Regional Manager; Michelle Dummer, FIA Assistant Curator of Education; Jennifer Sturdy, PNC Director of Client and Community Relations; Ashley Cayton, Clio Assistant Branch Manager; Monique Desormeau, FIA Curator of Education, and David Reid, PNC Client Advisor.

expansion news
Donor Profile
A. G. Bishop Trust Supports the Flameworking Studio

Kari Russell-Pool, American, b. 1967, Daisy Chain, 2004, Flameworked glass, 16 x 12 x 12 inches. Gift of Claire White, FIA 2005.17

Kari Russell-Pool, American, b. 1967, Daisy Chain, 2004, Flameworked glass, 16 x 12 x 12 inches. Gift of Claire White, FIA 2005.17
The expansion project includes converting the existing 3,960 sq. ft. exterior courtyard in the Art School into a covered, multi-purpose studio Makerspace for glassblowing, 3D art classes, and public demonstrations. The Art School is also adding a cold shop, a sculpture modeling studio, and a Flameworking Studio.

Flameworking is a technique used by artists to create glassworks including beads, paperweights, and sculptures. The Flameworking Studio is designed specifically to fabricate glass using torches. This specialized studio will be located on the second floor with appropriate specifications for electrical, gas, and ventilation. The studio will be equipped with fireproof steel tables, high-quality torches, kilns, and specialized tools. The natural synergy between the Flamework and Glassblowing Studios will allow students in the Flameworking Studio to watch glassblowing and aesthetically stimulate them to incorporate techniques into their objects. Some of the most accomplished flamework artists frequently encase their works in molten glass, which requires a blowing facility. These new spaces will increase the FIA’s ability to provide all methods of glassmaking to the community.

The FIA thanks the A. G. Bishop Trust for helping the Art School provide a studio for one of the most exciting and popular techniques that glass artists are using today.

Donor Profile

Guardian Alarm check presentation
Consultant Eric Bindig (left), presents a check in support of the expansion project to Kathryn Sharbaugh, FIA Development Director and John Henry, FIA Executive Director in the FIA Art School welding studio.

Guardian Alarm Supports the Expansion Project
“Providing security to the Flint Institute of Arts means that Guardian Alarm becomes a partner with the museum in protecting and preserving valuable pieces of art for visitors both from within and outside of our community to enjoy,” says Guardian Security Consultant Eric Bindig. “Guardian offers the same peace of mind to our other customers by protecting their homes and businesses.
Like Guardian, the FIA is a Michigan-based organization that benefits people throughout the state. They do a great job of keeping their fingers on the pulse of what’s fresh without forgetting to highlight pieces at the core of the collection, like the tapestries in the Bray Collection. Both the FIA and Guardian have served Michigan for more than 80 years and we look forward to continuing financial and service support in the future.”

Several major equipment purchases still need funding including glass, furnaces, annealing ovens, elevator, retractable seating, studio furniture, audio/video equipment, and gallery lighting. We wish to thank all those who have made contributions to the capital campaign so far. Our goal is an additional $1 million for equipment and $4 million of endowment to support the expanded operation.

Keep the flame burning with your contributions. Contact Kathryn Sharbaugh at, call 810.234.1695, or visit

Expansion Donations
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Flint Institute of Arts
1120 East Kearsley Street
Flint, Michigan 48503
p  810.234.1695
f   810.234.1692
Monday – Friday
12:00p – 5:00p
10:00a – 5:00p
1:00p – 5:00p

Huntington Free Saturdays
American Alliance of Museums MemberCharles Stewart Mott FoundationMichigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairsnational endowment for the arts