Walker Art Center

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Mildred S. Friedman Design Fellowship

Since 1980, the Walker’s Design department has maintained a graphic design fellowship program that provides recent graduates the opportunity to work in a professional design studio environment.

We are searching for designers who are comfortable and adept at developing projects for both print and screen and can move fluidly between media. Ideal candidates will be firmly grounded in visual design principles and the print design process, with some experience in interaction design a plus. In addition to print projects such as exhibition identities and collateral materials, the fellow will also work on select projects such as online publishing initiatives, campaigns, and signage. The fellow will join an accomplished team of professionals known for creating industry-leading work. Immersed in the Design, Editorial, and New Media departments, fellows gain a deeper understanding of design; work on projects with deep, rich, interesting content; and are expected to produce work to the highest standards of design excellence. Fellows are employed full-time and are involved in all aspects of the design process, including client meetings and presentations through production and development.

Selected from a highly competitive pool of applicants, fellows come from graphic design programs throughout the United States and abroad. Fellows represent a diverse range of design programs, such as Art Center College of Design, California College of Art, California Institute of the Arts, Cranbrook Academy of Art, ECAL, Eastern Michigan University, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, NC State University, Rhode Island School of Design, Royal College of Art, Werkplaats Typografie, and Yale University, among many others.

Program Specifics

  • Fellowship begins in August and lasts one year.
  • Fellows work full-time in the department.
  • Compensation: $30,000 for the fellowship year with a $2,000 relocation allowance and excellent benefits.
  • Fellows are eligible to receive benefits such as paid vacation and sick days and health and dental insurance.
  • Non-U.S. citizens must possess a valid work visa for the entire fellowship period.
  • Applicants must possess a four-year undergraduate or graduate degree in graphic design.
  • Macintosh proficiency in Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator software is required.
  • Working knowledge of HTML5, CSS/SASS, and Basic jQuery/JavaScript beneficial but not required.
  • Knowledge of motion graphic applications and digital video production beneficial but not required.
  • Interest in contemporary arts and current design and cultural issues desired.
  • Successful applicants must have good communication and organizational skills and be able to meet tight deadlines.
  • Walker Art Center is an EOE/AA Employer.

How to Apply

Please submit the following application materials by PDF attachments only: a letter of interest, a résumé, names and contact information of three references, and a PDF portfolio containing 8-10 examples of graphic design work (no larger than 19 MB). Send materials to jobs@walkerart.org.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can the fellowship be shorter than one year?

No. Because of the extensive training and preparation the studio undertakes to train fellows, a one-year commitment is necessary.

Can I apply for the fellowship while I’m still in school?

Since the fellowship is decided in the summer and begins in the fall, only those individuals who have graduated or will have graduated by the time the fellowship begins should apply.

What kinds of projects do fellows work on?

Fellows work on a variety of projects representing a full-range of the departments at the Walker—whether film/video screenings, performing arts events, visual arts exhibitions, new media initiatives, or educational programs. These can vary in size and scope from a postcard invitation to a multiple-page brochure to a series of collateral pieces for an exhibition. Fellows also assist other graphic designers in the department with long-term projects such as exhibition catalogues and promotional campaigns.

What is the review process?

The entire design staff meets to review all applications. Typically, a short-list of finalists is assembled and is invited to interview on-site with members of the department. During this visit, candidates are requested to present their work and are invited to view the work of the department.

When will I know if I am a finalist?

We will notify all candidates of their disposition by the end of June. Start date for the fellowship will be at the beginning of August.

Can I interview even if I am not a finalist?

Unfortunately, because of the number of applicants and to maintain fairness in the review process, we are unable to conduct interviews with any applicants who are not considered finalists.