Ackland Student Guides

About the Program

selfie of a group of smiling college students outside

This selective program presents an opportunity for Carolina undergraduates to learn about the Museum’s collection and to teach with original works of art. Ackland Student Guides are important members of the Ackland’s teaching team. They participate in weekly trainings with museum educators, curators, and experienced Student Guides. Training equips students to design and lead engaging, interactive, thematic tours on topics they choose. Ackland Student Guides lead public drop-in tours, offered Saturdays and Sundays at 1:30 during the academic year, as well as private tours for members of the campus community.

Ackland Student Guides meet weekly throughout their time at Carolina, refining their craft, developing special programs just for students, and promoting lively engagement with the Museum among the campus and community.

Applications for the 2023-24 academic year are due at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, September 6. Please submit them using the form below.

In the meantime, sign up for a free student membership and follow our Instagram account @AcklandStudentGuides to stay connected to what’s happening at the Ackland!

Ackland Student Guides Application

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2023-24 Ackland Student Guides

Rebekah Gill, co-head guide
Madalyn Hutchinson, co-head guide
Anna Baechtold
Ghita Basurto-Covarrubias
Charlotte Breckenridge
Sarah Chocron
Katie Church
Jane Durden
Katy Hrazdira
Emma Johnson
Katy Spears
Anna-Keith Sullivan
Rylie Sultzbach
Kenzie Talhelm
Mackie Tate Tygart

ASG Collaborative Playlists

The Ackland Student Guides selected a few of their favorite works and created a Spotify playlist for each one. Listen to their musical selections and add your own – let the art be your inspiration!

Looking Back Buck

sculpture of a buck's head looking back, covered in crystals

A son of a small-town New England hunter, Marc Swanson spent his twenties immersing himself in San Francisco’s gay culture scene. His artistic practice investigates the dualities inherent in these disparate life experiences. Covering modeled deer heads in materials like rhinestones (traditionally viewed as a kitschy decorative element), he created a number of bejeweled sculptures. These works resemble gaudy hunting trophies, and they complicate the ideas of manliness often associated with such totems. There is also a hint of vulnerability in the exposed neck and head position. Mortality and intensity of focus emerge as themes, alongside masculinity.

What song plays in your head when you look at this sculpture? Add it to the playlist, and hear what others have contributed!

Looking Back Buck Playlist


Mark Swanson, American, born 1969, Untitled (Looking Back Buck), 2004, crystals, polyurethane foam, and adhesive, 36 x 18 x 18 in. (91.4 x 45.7 x 45.7 cm). Ackland Fund, 2012.11. © 2004 Marc Swanson.

Gold Breast

painting of an outline of a breast in gold on a black background, with a metal sculpture on a pedestal nearby

Pinaree Sanpitak’s art is inspired by the ethereal spirituality of the female body. For the past twenty years, a central motif in her work has been the female breast. She related this form to imagery of the natural world and to the iconic forms of the Buddhist stupa (shrine) and offering bowl. The quiet, Zen-like abstraction of her work owes something to her training in Japan and sets it somewhat apart from the colorful intensity of much Thai art.

What song plays in your head when you look at this painting? Add it to the playlist, and hear what others have contributed!

Gold Breast Playlist


Pinaree Sanpitak, Thai, born 1961, Gold Breast, 1995-96, acrylic, ink, pastel, paper on canvas, 48 3/16 x 59 1/8 in. (122.4 x 150.1 cm). Ackland Fund, 2019.38.
Installation view with Renée Stout’s Ogun,1995, in the foreground.

Still Life with Hunting Trophies

Pile of dead animals

Jan Weenix’s painting depicts both an aristocratic hunting scene (in the middle ground) and its aftermath, the trophies strewn across the foreground. Throughout the painting, Weenix carefully depicts different textures such as fur, feathers, polished metal and wood, tassels, as well as living and wilting vegetation. Not only does this captivate viewers’ senses, it also reminds us of life’s transitory nature. Flowers fade, fruit rots, the sun sets, and animals and humans live and die.

What song plays in your head when you look at this painting? Add it to the playlist, and hear what others have contributed!

Still life with hunting trophies playlist


Jan Weenix, Dutch, 1642-1719, Still Life with Hunting Trophies, 1680s-1690s?, oil on canvas, 47 15/16 x 62 3/8 in. (121.8 x 158.4 cm). Ackland Fund, 84.43.1.

Mater Dolorosa

sculpture of the Virgin Mary

The Sorrowing Virgin (or in Latin, Mater Dolorosa), is a type of image of Mary that is related to narrative scenes during or after Jesus’ crucifixion. In images of the Sorrowing Virgin, Mary appears alone, often in close-up views, allowing viewers to concentrate on the intensity of her emotional experience, which the sculptor emphasizes here.

What song plays in your head when you look at this sculpture? Add it to the playlist, and hear what others have contributed!

Mater Dolorosa Playlist


Follower of José de Mora, Spanish, 1642-1724, Mater Dolorosa (The Sorrowing Virgin), after 1700, wood and fabric with polychrome, silver leaf, glass, and ivory, 26 1/2 x 24 3/8 x 14 7/16 in. (67.3 x 61.9 x 36.7 cm). Ackland Fund, 75.11.1.