Meet the Staff: Debbie Pulley

Debbie Pulley is the Ackland Art Museum’s Security Supervisor.

How long have you been at the Ackland?
I started at the Ackland in August 1990.

What brought you to the Ackland?
I had been working for Northern Telecom Security for about six years, and I wanted to do something different in the security field. I applied for both a detention officer job at the Durham County Sheriff’s Office and a position with UNC Security at the Ackland Art Museum. Both offered me a job, and my husband said I should take the UNC Security position. I’m so happy I did!

What do you do at the Ackland?
As the Security Supervisor, I’m on-call 24 hours. I’m responsible for training the security staff, protecting the Ackland’s collection, and assisting the visitors. I also train the Museum’s work study gallery assistants, make sure operating policies and procedures are implemented and followed by all personnel at all times, and monitor the Museum’s closed-circuit television (CCTV) system.

What is a memorable Ackland experience?
In August of 1990, the Museum staff was moving back into the building following a three-year closure for renovations. On December 2, 1990, I got to see the reopening party for the newly redesigned Ackland Art Museum. Then-director Charles Millard and Chancellor Paul Hardin were on-hand to receive ‘Welcome Back’ posters from children as we opened the doors (see photo). What an evening!

What is your favorite thing about working at the Ackland?
Seeing our growing collection. I also love working with university and K-12 students, as well as meeting visitors from all over the world.

SEE. MORE. ART.: What is your favorite arts experience in the Triangle?
I love DPAC (Durham Performing Arts Center).

Editor’s Note: Debbie Pulley was chosen as the UNC Department of Public Safety’s 2016 Employee of the Year. UNC Police Chief Jeff McCracken presented Pulley with the recognition at the department’s annual awards ceremony Friday, June 17, 2016.  Pulley—who was also recognized for 25 years of service to the agency—was cited for the fresh passion she brings to her job every day as well as for leading by example and her kindness to her team, museum staff, and visitors to the Ackland.

Uzzle Buzz: So Close, it’s Scary (?)

Ackland_2008.3.42, 4/3/12, 4:09 PM, 8C, 3524x4189 (54+540), 50%, 1'27'12_DD, 1/25 s, R51.1, G24.5, B34.1

In just a few short weeks, the Ackland will unveil All About America, an exhibition of 40 remarkable photographs from the Museum’s collection by renowned photographer and North Carolina native Burk Uzzle.

Our show is presented in coordination with two other area exhibitions exploring the photographer’s work: Burk Uzzle: Southern Landscapes (Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University) and Burk Uzzle: American Chronicle (North Carolina Museum of Art).

Leading up to and during the show, we’ll have regular blog posts (“Uzzle Buzz”) with observations, comments, and responses to the show from photographers, writers, museum folks, and a wide range of enthusiasts. Check back frequently and look for the latest “Uzzle Buzz.”

Image: Burk Uzzle, American, born 1938: Mother and Child, Disney World, 1981, 1981; gelatin silver print. Ackland Art Museum, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Anonymous Gift, 2008.3.42. © Burk Uzzle.

Meet the Staff: Carolyn Allmendinger

CAllmendingerCAROLYN ALLMENDINGER is the Ackland’s Director of Academic Programs.

How long have you been at the Ackland?

I started working at the Ackland in fall 1999.

What brought you to the Ackland?

I had just finished graduate school in art history and was trying to figure out what kind of career I wanted to pursue (some people do that before they finish school; others change their mind a few times). There was a part-time position available as an editor for the Ackland’s catalogue of European drawings. I got that position and quickly discovered I wanted a career working in an art museum. As the editing work began to wind down, another position opened – teaching university classes from various academic disciplines with art objects in the galleries. Once I started doing that, I was completely hooked. Continue reading

Our First Full-time Curator of Asian Art

BradleyBailey_2The Ackland is thrilled to have announced recently that we have hired our first full-time curator of Asian art.

Bradley Bailey will come to us on 2 November 2015 from the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College. With a broad background in Asian art, Bailey is a specialist in the art of Japan, focusing on the Meiji period (1868-1912) and artistic relations between Japan and the West.

Read more about Bradley Bailey here.

 

Charlie Millard: Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts

millard_charles_15_018Originally published in the Ackland’s Member E-Newsletter of 21 May 2015.

Of all the awards that a university can bestow, few are greater than the honorary degree. Everyone in the Ackland family is therefore justifiably proud of former director Charlie Millard. He was awarded the degree of Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts by The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill at this year’s Spring Commencement. Charlie’s professional and scholarly achievements are manifold, you can read the official citation here, but I want to highlight two ways that he improved the Ackland in decisive and long-lasting ways during his directorship (1986-1993). Continue reading

Kehinde Wiley and Glenn Ligon at the Ackland

In conjunction with Dr. John Bowles’ ARTH 287 and ARTH 387 classes, six works by contemporary African-American artists are on view now through Sunday, May 10th, in the Study Gallery on the second floor of the Ackland. Perhaps the most eye-popping in its resoluteness and arresting color is Idrissa Ndiaye, a study in oil on paper by Kehinde Wiley.

WileyUndoubtedly, Wiley is having a cultural moment: the 37-year-old artist is enjoying his first retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum, and numerous examples of his work can be spotted on the set of Fox’s breakout new show “Empire.” Figurative, dramatic, and bombastically colorful, his art has all the necessary ingredients to be readily accessible to modern audiences.

Yet despite its immediate vivacity, below the surface Wiley’s art is deeply confrontational. He deals directly with stereotypical conceptions of African and African-American identity, both in modern culture and the history of art. His works usually follow a similar formula: a black figure, dressed in modern street clothes, stands heroically against a sumptuously decorative background. The figure gazes directly down at the viewer with an air of impassiveness and regality as baroque ornamentation swirls around him. Continue reading

A Warm Welcome

As you all know, the Ackland is constantly striving to improve, and today I’m delighted to introduce to you a very concrete example of the ways in which we are moving from strength to strength: Meghan Hunt has recently joined us as our Manager of Membership Services. She will be dedicated to enhancing and expanding our programming and activities for you, our loyal and essential members. I know she’ll be in touch with many of you to learn more about what you most value in your association with the Ackland, about what more we can do to make the membership experience rewarding, and about how we can best increase the number of art enthusiasts who enjoy the benefits of our offerings. And I encourage you to be in touch with her with your thoughts and suggestions. Meghan, a Carolina alumna from the Class of 2011, comes to us from UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication, where she worked in development. She previously served as staff assistant for US Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL).  Please join me in giving Meghan a very warm welcome to the Ackland team.

 
Peter Nisbet
Ackland Art Museum Chief Curator and Interim Director

______________________________________________________________

As a UNC student and now as an employee, I have passed by the Ackland Art Museum many times on my way to Franklin Street. It is a treasure on the UNC campus. As the Manager of Membership Services, it will be my pleasure not only to provide wonderful experiences for you, our current members, but also to bring new members into the fold and share with them all the wonders the Ackland holds. I look forward to meeting many of you at the Spring Luncheon on Monday, 4 May, and learning about your favorite aspect of the Ackland. You can reach me at meg_hunt@unc.edu.

With warm Carolina wishes,


Meghan Hunt
Manager of Membership Services

Picasso at the Ackland

Pablo Picasso once said, “I must keep on trying, just to keep the experiment going until I get tired of it all. Even if the last result is not necessarily the best, I stop when my interest in the problem wanes.”

2010.64_Picassoplate

Perhaps it is this enthusiasm for experimentation that makes Picasso so infinitely intriguing to modern audiences. While most known for his pioneering Cubist works, Picasso’s full oeuvre reflects an extraordinary diversity of artistic styles. He was an artistic alchemist, continuously testing the possibilities of form, abstraction, composition, and color.

As an extension of the recent PICASSO^3 exhibition (2 Jan – 8 March 2015), which presented works from the collection of Julian H. Robertson Jr., the Ackland has put many works by Picasso from its own collection on view. Stretching over decades and media, these pieces invite comparison and conversation about this incredibly versatile artist. Continue reading

Meet the Staff: Katie Voss

Get to know the Ackland Art Museum staff! Katie Voss is the receptionist and Administrative Assistant to the Director at the Ackland Art Museum, and is probably the most visible of the behind-the-scenes staff. Voss, a recent college graduate who is fluent in French, enjoys the fast-paced work environment. She spoke with Sarah Headley about her hobbies and her role at the museum.

katieVossWhere are you from?
Grand Rapids Michigan. I’m a Yankee and far from home.

Where did you go to school and what was your major?
I went to the University of Michigan and doubled in French and Linguistics. I’m definitely a language person. I graduated in four years and studied abroad in Southern France. Continue reading