In early 2019 Staci Golar joined BACC as its first staff member in development and marketing, a hire made possible by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation's Comprehensive Organizational Health Initiative grant given “to help support change and growth capital.”
Golar has spent her career almost entirely in the arts, having held positions at the Museum of International Folk Art, SWAIA Santa Fe Indian Market, the Institute of American Indian Arts, the International Folk Art Alliance, and others. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Art and a Master’s in Arts Administration.
Here she shares some insights on what it’s like to work at BACC.
How did you end up working at an art conservation center?
The simple answer is that I responded to an ad for the position when it was open and, as they say, “the rest is history.” I was excited about the possibility of supporting an art conservation center as I find the work that art conservators do to be quite incredible.
How would you summarize what you do at BACC?
In general, I am responsible for helping to expand BACC's profile. That means I try to create more awareness about BACC while also increasing giving to BACC. I might be writing and distributing a press release one day and setting up a donor form and campaign the next, with a lot of other tasks like list/data management, social media, and so on in between.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
Time, or lack thereof. I hold part-time hours so prioritizing and reprioritizing is an important part of every week. There is always more that I could be working on, but I know I’m not alone with this challenge. It's one that I think everyone can relate to!
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
It is hard to pin down just one thing, so I’ll share a few. I love, in the most nerdy way you can imagine, when BACC gains recognition somehow. It is thrilling when I see that something was picked up in a story, for example, or when a donor decides to give to the organization. I also love learning more about art conservation from my colleagues. Not only do I get the privilege of learning about what the conservation team is working on and more about how they are doing it, I also get to see the results of that work on a regular basis. I am 100% biased, but it is an endlessly fascinating field, especially if you are already interested in visual arts.
What do you wish more people knew about art conservation work?
I wish that more people knew art conservation is a highly specialized profession that takes years to learn. It is not a hobby. Art conservators treat objects using science and research about both the historic and artistic requirements of the work. For example, they don’t repair an object using any means possible simply to make it look better. Instead, they repair work replicating as closely as they can what the original artist intended. They also use techniques and materials that allow the piece to stay in the best condition possible over time.
On that note, it’s really important that people do research before taking priceless treasures somewhere to be treated, cleaned, or repaired. Professional, qualified art conservators will have had extensive training and understand (and stick to) the ethics of the art conservation field. If you're looking for one, I have some ideas!