The Baranov Museum has welcomed a new face to its staff these days. Last week Jill Lipka began work as the new curator of education, replacing Sarah Harrington, who left the museum earlier this month. Lipka comes from an extensive background in museums and art, including five years with the Alutiiq Museum and most recently an art administrator for the Kodiak Island Borough School District.
Lipka said she’s grateful to have an opportunity to work for the Baranov, and is finding constant inspiration by everything in the museum, which is located in the historic Erskine House.
“I cannot tell you how excited I am. Everything I look at is a brand new story that I can take and put into an outreach program. This is my passion – combining objects and stories and just sharing to anybody who’s willing to listen.”
Lipka said she hopes to continue a number of arts education programs started by past museum curators, but has been talking with Museum Director Tiffany Brunson about other outreach opportunities to get the community involved with Kodiak’s history – or even just their own history.
“In the past there’s been discussion amongst people about ‘I don’t personally know how to take care of my objects, can you give me advice on that’ from people in the community. And Tiffany and I have just started to talk about having maybe an archival type workshop – how to care for your objects at home.”
She said that workshop would be somewhat self serving, because it would help the community care for family treasures that might one day be relevant to telling Kodiak’s history.
“No one ever believes that their own personal objects at their home are valuable or the stories are valuable, because they’re in the middle of it. But in reality, everyone’s stories and their treasures at home should be taken care of.”
Brunson said she’s pleased to have Lipka and the museum has been lucky to have a slew of talented folks fill the curator of education position and set up a lot of programs that are still functioning today.
“So it’s something where you can come in and use existing programs, as well as you have a lot of freedom to develop your own. So I’m sure Jill will continue doing some of the programs we currently have with our art workshops and of course participating in art walk and the research lectures, school tours and all those kinds of things. But we also look forward to the things she’ll develop on her own.”
The Baranov Museum is open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. You can visit their website or Facebook page to learn more about upcoming workshops and programs.