A generous gift from Clarence “Dave” Davis Jr. ’48 will remove a critical barrier for students interested in pursuing internships in the visual arts. Awarded for the first time this year, the Clarence A. Davis ’48 Endowed Internship will provide two or three students with financial support to undertake internship opportunities.
“We are grateful to Mr. Davis for his generosity and support of students in the arts,” says Director of the Salisbury Center for Career Services and Professional Development Brandi Ferrara. “Funding for unpaid internships helps to level the field and allows more students to participate in internships, which we know is a necessity in preparing our students to compete for jobs and prepare for graduate/professional programs.”
The fund was established to enable students to gain a practical understanding of the demands and rewards of future careers in the visual arts.
“Internships are a very important part of the art education at HWS,” says Davis, noting the immersive experience provides students with a broader and deeper perspective on both art itself and their career aspirations.
Davis has been an ardent supporter of the visual arts at Hobart and William Smith. His leadership gift in 2009 enabled the Colleges to renovate the gallery space at Houghton House, which was renamed ‘The Clarence A. Davis ’48 Gallery at Houghton House’ in honor of his contribution. Davis also endowed a fund to maintain the gallery and, through a bequest, will fund the Clarence A. Davis ’48 Endowed Chair in the Visual Arts.
His gift toward visual arts internships is part of this ongoing commitment. “When I was at Hobart, we had one art course, in charcoal drawing. It’s great to see now how the art program has expanded,” he says.
Students interested in pursuing an internship in the visual arts are eligible to apply for the stipend. Awards are available for winter break and summer internships and preference will be given to opportunities in major urban areas and to students from Erie County, N.Y. An essay and two letters of recommendation will be required with the application. More information is available through the Salisbury Center for Career Services and Professional Development.
Davis stresses that the stipend is available to students. “I want to see HWS grow in all respects, so while I’d be happy to see a student from Erie County receive an award it’s more important to me that it’s open to any student who has the financial need or who needs to learn more about careers in visual arts.”
At Hobart College, Davis studied chemistry and economics before going on to receive an advanced degree in plant diseases from Cornell University in 1950. Davis eventually opened his own successful nursery and garden center, Queen City Garden Town Nursery, in his home town of Buffalo, N.Y., where he also supports several art galleries.