Meet the Staff: Emily Bowles

EMILY BOWLES is the Ackland Art Museum’s Director of Communications.

 
bowles_roaminggnomeHow long have you been at the Ackland?
My first day working at the Ackland was August 30, 2010, so as of this writing I’ve been here over six years.
 
What brought you to the Ackland?
A job that was the perfect mix of my backgrounds in the arts and in communications. And a freelancing gig that was about to dry up after eight solid years.
 
What do you do at the Ackland?
I make sure that the word gets out about all the amazing exhibitions and programs that we have going on. That means I’m responsible for the website content (text and images), our bi-weekly eNews, media relations, press releases, advertising, social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), printed invitations and posters, e-fliers and printed takeaways, flat screen TV slides, etc. It’s a big job because we are a very active museum.
 
What is a memorable Ackland experience of yours?
I have several, and most of them fall under the category of highly anticipated works of art arriving in the building; I call them “Big Truck Days” or “Big Crate Days.” There’s a wonderful, heart-stopping moment when you get to see in person the work of art that you’ve been “seeing” reproduced in small jpgs during months and months of exhibition planning. The hush when the loaned Francis Bacon is finally on the wall. The “oooohs” when a Roy Lichtenstein painting is uncrated. There’s also the thrill of unusual pieces being installed after months of anticipation, like the time an Indian rickshaw was steered into our lobby. During the Ackland’s 2013 exhibition More Love, it was Jim Hodges’ “spider web” piece Hello, Again (1994-2003) being deftly installed in a corner of the ceiling and his huge curtain of flowers, You (1997), being hung.
 
What is your favorite thing about working at the Ackland?
As you can guess from my previous answer, for me it’s the chance to see great works of art up close, in person, and this is always possible working at the Ackland because I can walk downstairs to the galleries at any time. I studied art history both as an undergrad and as a graduate student. I never take for granted the opportunity to look closely at a work of art when it’s right in front of me. It’s the reason why I am devoted to getting the Ackland the attention it deserves: everyone should know about and visit a world-class art museum and see art from all over the world, up close and in person.

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Meet the Staff: Lauren Turner

LAUREN TURNER is Assistant Curator for the Collection.

TurnerHow long have you been at the Ackland?
I started at the Ackland in January 2009 as a Curatorial Assistant.

What brought you to the Ackland?
My long-term goal was to work in a museum, and I was an undergraduate alumna of the Art Department at UNC-Chapel Hill. When the job posted, it seemed like it was a sign from the universe to return to campus. Also, in her annoying habit of inevitably being right, my mother told me that I would be an idiot to not apply.

What do you do at the Ackland?
My current title is “Assistant Curator for the Collection,” but it encompasses more than researching, growing, and exhibiting the almost 18,000 objects of our collection. I also coordinate catalogue publications, act as a project manager (and sometimes curator) for our changing exhibitions, and introduce interns and student assistants to the many different types of tasks in a museum career. Continue reading

Meet the Staff: Allison Portnow Lathrop

headshot1ALLISON PORTNOW LATHROP is the Ackland’s Public Programs Manager.

How long have you been at the Ackland?

I started at the Ackland as a graduate student intern in August 2009, then continued working here while I was finishing my musicology PhD in the Music Department at UNC. A short while later, I was hired full time as the Ackland’s Public Programs Manager.

What brought you to the Ackland?

I was interested in applying for the internship because I thought I’d learn some strategies for teaching music in a more interdisciplinary way. I ended up in a more administrative internship–but immediately fell in love it with it. While most musicology PhDs pursue college-level teaching careers, I knew after just a few weeks at the Ackland that a career in arts administration, specifically, museum administration was a better match for me.
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Meet the Staff: Katie Voss

Katie Voss is the Ackland’s Administrative Assistant to the Director.

How long have you been at the Ackland?

I started working at the Ackland as a temporary employee in January 2013. In October 2013, I officially joined the Museum’s staff as the Administrative Assistant to the Director; combined, I have worked at the Ackland for a little over three years.

What brought you to the Ackland?

After graduating with my undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and moving to North Carolina to be closer to loved ones, I was quickly drawn to UNC-Chapel Hill and the Ackland as I wanted to work in the non-profit sector, and because I believe in the importance of higher education and the arts.

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Meet the Staff: Nathan Marzen

NATHAN MARZEN is the Ackland’s Chief Preparator.

How long have you been at the Ackland?
I started in May 2013.
 
What brought you to the Ackland?
I like the environment of a university museum and the focus on using the collection and exhibitions for education. When I interviewed, I was particularly impressed with the Ackland’s use of the Study Gallery. It’s a small enough museum to give me a variety of experiences and there’s a staff here that is ambitious enough that we do a lot of big things. We’ve also got a diverse collection with a lot of interesting art to work with.
 
What do you do at the Ackland?
As Chief Preparator, I am involved in many different aspects of exhibitions and collections care. I lead exhibition design, preparation, and installation. I manage the art storage vaults, the movement of artwork, and special projects such as our recent addition of color (on the walls) and replacement of carpet in the galleries.

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Meet the Staff: Meghan Hunt

MEGHAN HUNT is the Ackland’s Manager of Membership Services.

 
How long have you been at the Ackland?
I started working at the Ackland in April 2015. I have been here for nine months.
 
What brought you to the Ackland?
I wanted a new challenge in the world of fundraising. Before joining the Ackland team I worked in the Development and Alumni Affairs Office at the UNC School of Media and Journalism. I saw this job open up at the Ackland, and I decided to apply because I felt it would be a good next step for me. I am fortunate to be part of such a wonderful staff, and look forward to all the things the Museum plans to bring to the Triangle community this year.

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.