It would be sad news if it weren't something we hadn't seen coming the moment she took the Director of Education job at PAM but Christina Olson is leaving her post in Portland to become the "Class of 1956 Director of the Williams College Museum of Art
" (WCMA for short). During her tenure in Portland she was THE point woman for Brian Ferriso's very successful revamp of PAM's education department and her accomplishments go far beyond the annual Shine a Light events. With Tina the museum took what was a very hit or miss program and made education a part of every single museum activity. The busloads of kids I see at PAM every week are a testament to her but so is the greater community/interpretive involvement... like the fantastic Artist Talks series
(of which I've taken part). She leaves PAM as one of the most successful employees the museum has ever hired.
What does it mean for PAM? Well, it's official... the museum is definitely a good place to launch careers (let's hope Ferriso holds out until the Metropolitan or LACMA make him a deal no one can refuse... seriously hands off FAMSF). Look, cities do not own their museum directors any more than they own their artists and Portland enjoys top talent in both regards. Support them and you have a better city. I'm certain Ferriso will find yet another fantastic person to fill the position but we will miss you Tina.
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