HCC Art Handling Course Draws People from Across Country

'Polaridad Complementaria: Recent Works from Cuba,' a 2011 exhibit at the Housatonic Museum of Art. Photo courtesy of hmapolaridad.blogspot.com.
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For the second consecutive year,  Housatonic Community College’s art handling workshop has attracted people from across the country.


Designed for museum curators and staff, the workshop, which ran on June 27 and 28, attracted some 17 people to the Bridgeport, Connecticut college from as far away as California, Texas, Illinois, and South Carolina. A similar workshop offered in December of 2012 also attracted people from across the country.


“We’re delighted that this specialized workshop appealed to so many people from so many places,” said Dean of Community Outreach Denise S. Bukovan, whose continuing education division offered the class. “Housatonic hosts one of the largest art collections of any two-year college in the country. In view of this, it’s certainly appropriate that we host hard-to-find niche courses of value to the art community.”


The workshop, a certificate program, covered the history of collection care, including advanced principles and practices, such as protecting art objects and reviewing materials commonly used to protect objects during handling.


The workshop placed special emphasis on advanced handling techniques and materials for both two and three-dimensional objects. It reviewed the types of handling equipment that may be required by a certain piece, as well as materials and techniques for use in making handling containers.


Adding to the appeal of the class was lead instructor Brent Powell, a nationally known expert in art handling.


“Brent has designed, organized and conducted programs of ‘best practices’ on the subject of collection care principles since 1991,” said Robbin Zella, director of the Housatonic Museum of Art, which cosponsored the workshop along with the Werth Family Foundation.


“Brent is currently the chairman of the Preparation, Art Handling, and Collections Care Information Network (PACCIN).


“He has been an active member of PACCIN, in various capacities, since 1991,” she added. “In conjunction with PACCIN, he has co-authored, compiled and edited three publications and has written for other publications within American Alliance of Museums and the museum industry.


Powell is employed by Artex Fine Arts as the senior project manager for the relocation of the National Museum of Health and Medicine. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in painting from the University of Arizona.


Jobs in the field start at $38 per hour, Zella said, making the industry a desirable for those with a passion for art.


In view of the widespread popularity of the workshop and the favorable student reviews, Bukovan said the college will continue to offer them. “We’re planning to expand the workshop to include conservation and restoration and offer them twice a year,” she said.

by & filed under Arts & Music, Local, Top Stories.