The Pratt Museum's new Executive Director Jennifer Gibbins has been on the job for two weeks.
Gibbins moved to Alaska from Washington, DC in 2004 and has lived in Anchorage, Seward and Cordova. She arrived into Homer just a few days before beginning work at the museum and says that finding the opportunity to live and work in Homer has been a long time coming.
“I’ve always loved Homer and have always taken every opportunity to come to Homer. I was living in Cordova and it occurred to me in 2015 that I spend so much time coming to Homer that I should probably move here. So I’ve been working on that for several years and finally this year, all the pieces aligned,” said Gibbins.
With a degree in art history and a lifelong interest in museums and the humanities, Gibbins says she has always had an eye on The Pratt.
"It has an incredibly high reputation. It has a wonderful collection and it has a really unique community-based history. There are 24,000 objects, photographs and artifacts in the Pratt’s collection, it’s a treasure chest for the community."
Gibbins joins the Pratt after the completion of their multi-year renovation project. The museum reopened this past summer. A central focus of the renovation was to create a space for those 24,000 objects.
“...so they are properly cared for, properly stored and so that our wonderful curator of collections, Savannah Bradley has the appropriate space to protect and preserve and research all of these things. With community support, the museum has come back and been put together in a way that’s going to be even more meaningful,”Gibbins said.
Diving right in to her new role, Gibbins is looking to the coming year. She highlights a few of the scheduled events in 2020. Coming up in February, the Pratt will open an exhibit of artists responding to music in the wilderness,
“It’s a combination of music and art by artists who were in residence in Denali and then in June we have an exhibit coming up called Microbial Worlds which is produced by the University of Alaska Fairbanks and it’s art and science collaborative. In October we have an exhibit called Shifting Tides and it’s a touring exhibit by the Studio Art Quilters Association of the Northwest,”said Gibbins.
Her focus over the next several weeks and months will be on expanding the museum’s programming and getting to know the community, museum partners and potential partners.
“The Pratt has a unique history. It really is a creation of the community, by the community, for the community. There are so many wonderful artifacts and stories and pieces of art that have been collected and preserved at the museum and it’s a way to reflect on history, to tell history, share history and teach kids. It’s a wonderful, exciting resource,”Gibbins said.
For a list of events and exhibitions go to prattmuseum.org