From Student to Staff: Casey Pankey joins the OSU Museum of Art

It’s Christmas week, and as my family celebrates my mind has naturally turned to gifts. Perhaps the best gift I can get, as a teacher, mentor, and curator, is the gift of a student successfully entering the museum field. It’s an even better gift when it also means we can keep a beloved student nearby a little bit longer! Casey Pankey graduated with her BFA from OSU just over a week ago, and almost at the same time she accepted a position with the OSU Museum of Art. I asked Canyon Prusso, preparator, and Carla Shelton, registrar, to say a little bit about why they were excited to welcome Casey to the museum staff full-time.

“We’re delighted that Casey gets to stay on at the Postal Plaza Gallery after her graduation,” says Canyon. “She brings an uncommon level of dedication and desire that will serve her (and us) very well. She will continue to get valuable, specialized experience here that is difficult to get outside of an art museum.”

Casey Pankey, B.F.A.

Casey Pankey, B.F.A.

“From her student internship with the Gardiner Gallery to helping transport the entire collection over the summer, Casey has proven to be indispensable,” agreed Carla. “Casey’s positive attitude and her ability to think outside the box has eased the transition into our new building and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for her. I am thrilled Casey will be joining our full time staff to ensure Postal Plaza’s inaugural year is a success.”

Casey Pankey (foreground) and Canyon Prusso installing artwork at the Postal Plaza Gallery. Casey has been working part-time at the OSUMA since the summer of 2013.

Casey Pankey (foreground) and Canyon Prusso installing artwork at the Postal Plaza Gallery. Casey has been working part-time at the OSUMA since the summer of 2013.

So what will Casey be doing?

Canyon: Casey will have the opportunity to do a variety of jobs at the Postal Plaza Gallery, but she is especially interested in preparatory work (everyone knows preparators have all the fun). She will assist in designing and building pedestals; laying out and setting up the walls in the galleries; building mounts for three-dimensional artwork; mounting, matting, framing, and hanging two-dimensional artwork; lighting the galleries; mounting and installing labels and text panels; and anything else that needs to be done to design and install the exhibitions. Casey will also work with the registrar and will be involved in storing and keeping track of our permanent collection.

Curator of Exhibitions Shawn Yuan, Registrar Carla Shelton, and Casey Pankey put together the mobile wall system in the Postal Plaza Gallery.

Curator of Exhibitions Shawn Yuan, Registrar Carla Shelton, and Casey Pankey put together the mobile wall system in the Postal Plaza Gallery.

Carla: I love the fact that I can confidently hand over a task to Casey and know it will be done correctly. I have definitely enjoyed helping mentor Casey as she learns the ropes in the museum world—and I know she has and continues to learn so much from Canyon. I can already see the results as she takes the lead on designing and constructing various storage fixtures. Not only will she continue to assist in exhibition installation but she will also work to make Postal Plaza’s extended hours an enjoyable experience for all.

When I asked Casey what she thought of her new position, her answer went right back to the beginning of the OSUMA project.

“I remember going to a meeting in 2010, when the idea of a museum had just started to really take form. Students were called to come participate in a discussion about what the museum would be like,” Casey recalled. “I don’t remember what we all suggested but I do remember that we were all wildly excited about the first museum coming to Stillwater. Since then, I’ve been working to pursue a career in the museum field. I’m very excited to continue to help get the museum off to a promising start.”

Casey Pankey installing "Honoring the Spirit of All Things," a painting by Ben Harjo, Jr. from the permanent collection.

Casey Pankey installing “Honoring the Spirit of All Things,” a painting by Ben Harjo, Jr. from the permanent collection.

As you can tell, we’re excited to have her on board as well! And I hope that if you stop by the museum to see “Sharing a Journey” in the new year, you’ll say hello and welcome her to the team.

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About osucurator

Louise Siddons is Associate Professor of Art History at Oklahoma State University and founding curator of the Oklahoma State University Museum of Art. She maintains this blog as a record of her students' work with the Museum's permanent collection as well as more generally with topics related to museum studies.
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One Response to From Student to Staff: Casey Pankey joins the OSU Museum of Art

  1. Jennifer Borland says:

    I love this post – congratulations Casey!!

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