May 2, 2022
Inclusive Excellence Spotlight: Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art
One of the major themes in our strategic diversity and inclusion plan is Inclusive Excellence. At the core, inclusive excellence signifies that diversity, equity and inclusion excellence are not mutually exclusive but rather the same. At a more granular level, inclusive excellence calls for close attentiveness to the student experience itself. This includes the impact of race and ethnicity; the influence of physical ability, sexual orientation, gender expression, socioeconomic background, and first-generation status on their learning experience; and ensures that every student fulfills their potential.
As a central theme in our diversity and inclusion plan, we will create universitywide recognition of the Inclusive Excellence work of our faculty, staff and students. I will work to identify one faculty, staff and student each month to highlight their work in the area of Inclusive Excellence. I want to acknowledge the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art for the Inclusive Excellence Award.
Linda Duke has been the museum director since 2011. With Duke as director, the team at the museum has brought diverse artwork, exhibits, gallery walks, and critical projects — namely Gordon Parks: “Homeward to the Prairie I Come” — to the community. The great works of Parks have been on display at the Beach since August 2021. After visiting Parks’ work, this quote resonated with me – "I chose my camera as a weapon against all I dislike about Americans through poverty, racism and discrimination.”
Other incredible and diverse paintings, exhibitions, prints, discussions, and films, have been on display to serve as a reminder of the value of the arts and how it has impacted lives through understanding, cultural livability of communities and communication of all languages. Examples of these exhibits include:
- Ubiquitous: Enrico Isamu Oyama. This exhibit featured the artist's interests in the street cultures of Tokyo and American cities to give visual form to the mixed-race, multicultural, transnational experiences of people in today’s world of fluid borders and interconnectivity.
- Jeremiah Ariaz: Louisiana Trail Riders. Photographs were featured of African American trail riding clubs in southwest Louisiana.
- Minidoka on My Mind: Paintings and Prints by Roger Shimomura. Artwork was displayed that addressed the sociopolitical issues of ethnicity. In one of his exhibitions, Shimomura commented, “This exhibition should remind us that during times of international crises, our government seems to consistently lose its memory regarding past mistakes.”
Join me in recognizing the members of the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art for being selected for the Inclusive Excellence Award. Linda Duke, director; Georgia Allgier, gallery teacher; Luke Dempsey, exhibition designer and technology lead; Jennifer Harlan, office and events assistant; Theresa Marie Ketterer, registrar and collections specialist; Robin Lonborg, assistant director of operations; Nate McClendon, Art Bridges teaching artist; Jui Mhatre, communications and marketing specialist; Sarah Price, registrar and collections manager; Kim Richards, education specialist; Kathrine Schlageck, associate curator of education; and Martha Scott, donor relations assistant; Elizabeth Seaton, curator; Benjamin Schubert, safety and security officer; Lindsay Smith, exhibition designer and building systems lead; Aileen June Wang, curator.
Thank you for reading and, until next time, be well.
Interim Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer