JOEL VANDERKAMP is a preparator at the Ackland Art Museum.
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.
What is a memorable Ackland experience?
During the construction of the exhibition Sahmat, staff members from each department participated in rolling a prefabricated wall on dowel rods across the lobby into the exhibition space.
What is your favorite thing about working at the Ackland?
I love working with this staff and this collection. I feel so fortunate to spend my days among super accomplished people and great works of art.
SEE. MORE. ART.: What is your favorite arts experience in the Triangle?
In the Triangle, my go-to art venue is the Nasher. I would also like to take this opportunity to plug the Weatherspoon over at UNCG. It’s a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon – a strong collection, fantastic programming in contemporary art and lunch on Elm Street.