Plains Art Museum Appoints Megan Johnston as Director of Curatorial Affairs

Plains Art Museum welcomes Megan Johnston to the Museum staff as its new director of curatorial affairs and interpretation.

Johnston arrives with a wealth of experience across a wide expanse of geography. A native of Stillwater, Minn., she spent her early professional years as an intern and tour guide at the Weisman Art Museum and Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. After earning a bachelor of arts in art history at the University of Minnesota, she produced publications for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, served as curator at the Leadwhite Gallery in Dublin, Ireland, and was art director and lead curator at the Millennium Court Arts Centre in Portadown, Northern Ireland, from 2003 to 2009. Most recently, Johnston served as director and lead curator at the LaGrange Art Museum in LaGrange, Ga.

She holds a master’s degree in visual culture studies from the University of Ulster in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She will complete a doctorate on socially engaged curatorial practice through the University of Ulster in 2012. Energetic, passionate, and enthusiastic about museums, Johnston will focus on building relationships with artists, civic groups, college faculty, and others to create collaborative projects. After years away from the region, she is looking forward to bringing her experiences back and sharing the skills she learned.

“After a few years away, I am so happy to be heading back to the Midwest to family, friends, and a thriving arts community,” she said, “and I’m excited to work with my colleagues at the PAM and in the region to present an innovative and exciting arts program that connects to our communities.”

“Megan has great ideas and boundless enthusiasm and energy for connecting art, artists, museums, and community,” said Museum Director Colleen Sheehy. “I know she will bring a bright intelligence to her work here and build strong relationships.”

A meet-and-greet with Johnston will be held at the Museum on September 7 from 5 – 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

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