For Bevin McCullough, Teaching is Art
By Ally O'Connor '20
Senior studio art major takes passion to Palo Alto Art Center, thanks to REAL Program
For lifelong artist Bevin McCullough ‘19 (Studio Art & English), teaching was not a path she had ever considered until her recent internship opportunity allowed her to share her passion with young students at the Palo Alto Art Center.
McCullough is working this summer as an art camp leader through the Palo Alto Art Center. There, she leads classes for students ranging in age from 6 to 18 and encourages a diverse group of children to discover their own connection to art and expression. McCollough says:
“The children’s fine art interns work closely with both the art teachers and campers to help each day run smoothly. We improvise lesson plans, encourage creativity amongst campers, work to foster a productive learning environment, and also create our own art alongside students.”
McCullough began drawing at a young age and continued to explore her affinity for art at Marin Academy, a high school specializing in performing and visual arts. Now, at Santa Clara University, McCullough is double-majoring in Studio Art and English. She also serves as team captain to the cross country and track teams. Within the art world on campus, she is a member of the Student Art League, has been featured at several art program exhibitions, and has worked with professors to create her own website that showcases her work to prospective employers. During her senior year, she will serve as the Art Editor for The Santa Clara Review, SCU’s biannual international literary magazine.
Students interested in interning with non-profit organizations rarely find paid internship opportunities, which forces them to choose between their passions and supporting themselves. McCullough’s paid internship with the Palo Alto Center is supported by the Community Initiatives for the Visual Arts (CIVA) grant, which funds internships with arts organizations. The College of Arts and Sciences’ REAL program administers the CIVA grant. The REAL program provides students in the College of Arts and Sciences up to $5,000 to support their research, internship, or creative projects.
McCullough identifies her summer internship as a turning point in her career trajectory. “Because many art majors struggle to find paying jobs,” McCullough says the paid internship opportunity “allows students like me to explore non-profit internship options.” While she has always been driven towards art, she now feels called to share her passion with young students.
About the REAL Program
The College of Arts and Sciences developed the REAL Program to allow students to discover their interests, gain a rich understanding of a particular field, discern their career goals, and explore future employment fields. We believe financial means should not determine whether or not a student can participate in internships, research, or creative works opportunities. Committed to providing paid experiential learning opportunities for students, the REAL program provides stipends up to $5,000 for undergraduate opportunities lasting up to 10 weeks over the summer. In 2018, its first year, the REAL Program distributed $550,000 to over 125 students.