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: 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

Meet the Staff: Joel VanderKamp

JOEL VANDERKAMP is a preparator at the Ackland Art Museum.

5cde0142-46c2-4a78-92d2-dcb1ef3ca16aHow long have you been at the Ackland?
I began in August of 2013

What brought you to the Ackland?
The Ackland is at the intersection of my community and my work experience. I followed my wife to Chapel Hill and spent the first few years of my relocation commuting to the Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro. I have a fairly broad art handling experience and have found that I really enjoy working with encyclopedic collections. When the opportunity arose to work with the Ackland’s collection and programming I jumped at it.

What do you do at the Ackland?
I am a preparator. That means a lot of different things depending on the museum. The primary role of the preparator is to handle the art, be it for exhibition, storage, shipping, documentation, etc. At the Ackland the preparator also creates/supports the design and construction of the exhibition spaces, display cases, signage and lighting. Because the Ackland has a diverse collection and is relatively small in scale my responsibilities are quite various.

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Meet the Staff: Brian Fletcher

BRIAN FLETCHER is a Security Guard at the Ackland Art Museum.

How long have you been at the Ackland?

Since October 2011.

What brought you to the Ackland?

I had recently come to the university as a part-time contract guard through the Department of Public Safety, looking after various parking decks, dormitories, and other campus buildings-mostly third shift, overnight hours. I was approached by one of my supervisors, Steve Riddle, about some available hours at the Ackland Art Museum. I took him up on the offer, as I have always loved art — my late grandmother was a gifted oil painter, I took several art classes during my time at Campbell University, and I paint acrylics when time allows. The prospect of no longer starting my day at three o’clock in the afternoon or going to bed with the neighborhood rooster crowing didn’t discourage me either. I quickly came to really enjoy the Ackland and the people here. I learned that there was an opening for a full-time security officer, so I applied. I became a full-time guard here in January of 2012.

Ackland Art Museum Security Officer Vicki R. Parriman, 1967-2016

12509855_10205608269469709_7302457302926117481_nVicki Parriman, 48, a security officer at the Ackland Art Museum, died January 14, 2016, following a sudden illness in December 2015.

Although she had only joined the Ackland Art Museum’s security team in September 2015, Vicki had already left an indelible mark on Museum visitors and staff with her cheerful and warm “Welcome, welcome, welcome!” to all who entered the Museum. She connected with Ackland visitors and staff and always had a positive attitude.

While relatively new to the Ackland, Parriman was no stranger to UNC-Chapel Hill, having worked for many years at Campus Health Services. A Winston-Salem native and a 1990 NC Central University graduate, Vicki was known for her generosity and active involvement with Durham’s Imani Metropolitan Community Church and many community organizations supporting the homeless, veterans, and those affected by AIDS.

Just prior to her illness, Vicki was instrumental in the Ackland Art Museum’s participation in a “Toys for Tots” toy drive. An avid cyclist, she also raised thousands of dollars parrimanparticipating in bike rides for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, a cause especially close to her heart as she was a 20-year MS survivor.

A memorial service for Vicki was held in Durham on January 30, 2016.

Vicki leaves behind her partner, Natalie Rich; her brother, Charles; and three nieces and a nephew.

Those who wish to remember Vicki are may give a gift to Imani Metropolitan Community Church, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, or a charity of one’s choice.

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.

 

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