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: 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.

Continue reading

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.

 

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

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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

A Note from Retiring Curator Timothy Riggs

Editor’s note: In August 2014, Timothy Riggs will retire from the Ackland Art Museum after 30 years of dedicated service. On July 19th, friends of the Ackland gathered at the Carolina Inn for the Museum’s Annual Spring Luncheon, at which Timothy was the honored speaker. The following is a thank-you note that Timothy sent to guests who attended the luncheon.

Dear Friends,

Just about a month ago when we gathered for the Ackland Spring Luncheon at the Carolina Inn, I looked out across that room filled with friends, family, and colleagues, and realized again just how many people across this community care for the Ackland Art Museum and what it does.

I want to repeat here the words of Joseph Conrad that closed my talk that day:

“For life to be large and full, it must contain the care of the past and of the future in every passing moment of the present. Our daily work must be done to the glory of the dead, and for the good of those who come after.”

Museums are places where the care of the past for the future is especially direct. We cannot hear Lincoln give the Gettysburg address, but we can look at a wood engraving by Winslow Homer that a member of Lincoln’s audience could have held in his hands and looked at just as we do. And I hope that our grandchildren will have the same opportunity.

DSC_0111_croppedIn the past thirty years I have seen the Museum’s gallery space double, and I have seen the collection grow to the point where we could fill double our present space with outstanding works of art. I have seen a website and a digitization project make images of thousands of works from the collection available to millions of people. I have seen our Education department grow from one half-time public-relations-and-education person to five staff members and two graduate interns, and I have seen its programs grow far more than I can say.

Continue reading

Glimpse into the Collection: Old Well in the Spring? (We say, “Yes!”)

Old Well

Edward Carrick, British, 1905-1998: “Christmas Greeting Card,” 1930; wood engraving. Ackland Art Museum, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Burton Emmett Collection, 58.1.2389.

Diane Davis is the project photographer for the Ackland Art Museum’s IMLS Digitization Project Grant. Since 2010, she has been producing master image files to digitally archive all of the Ackland’s collections. After having a commercial business in Charlotte for 25 years, she finds working on this important project a very satisfying extension of her career.

As each of us on the digitization team has discovered this print, we’ve imagined it was made in Chapel Hill and depicts the Old Well on UNC campus in the spring.

It seems equally fitting for Easter, with the little bunny in silhouette in the foreground, doesn’t it?  It took me a number of viewings to even notice that there is a second bunny in the middle of the “valley”. Perhaps that has to do with the fact that the viewers eye is compelled to travel in the circular spiral of this composition…full of new growth bursting from the grass to the tree tops. Continue reading