June 2024, Callan Steinmann

Callan Steinmann is the Head of Education and Curator of Academic and Public Programs at the Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia. You can also catch Callan this month presenting at the 2024 AAMG Annual Conference taking place June 24-26 completely online. Thank you Callan for sharing your time and talents with AAMG and for presenting at this year’s conference!

What’s one thing — either industry/work-related or not — you learned in the past month?

I am planning a trip to Alaska later this summer, so I’ve been having a blast researching and learning about the history of the state. Recently I did a deep dive into the history of dog sledding, the Iditarod race, and the 1925 serum run to Nome. As a dog- and nature-lover, I loved reading about the heroic relay of dog teams that transported diptheria antitoxin across 674 miles in just 127.5 hours, without a single broken vial!

What do you value about your membership with AAMG?

I am so thankful for the community that this organization affords. The listerv, conferences, and broader network provide much-needed opportunities to connect with and learn from colleagues across the country who understand the unique challenges of our work.

Working with students in a 3D Printing and Design seminar to scan sculptures by Richard Hunt for a class project

If you could trade places with anyone for a day, who would it be?

An astronaut on the ISS. I’m both fascinated and terrified of space, and I can’t imagine how amazing it would be to see our planet from that vantage point.

Coffee or Tea?

Both! I can’t live without coffee in the morning, and I love to wind down with a cup of peppermint tea in the evening.

Teaching with a color and composition class in the exhibition “Color, Form and Light”

Book/Author suggestion?

I just started reading Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver, one of my all-time favorite authors. And I’m slowly reading through the essays in the exhibition catalogue for Woven Histories: Textiles and Modern Abstraction, a fantastic show that I was able to see recently at the National Gallery of Art in DC.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

I remember dressing up as an artist for several career days in elementary school. At various points I also dreamed of becoming a zookeeper, a marine biologist, or a paleontologist (likely due to an early obsession with Jurassic Park!).

With her nephew Luke when he was 4 months old. (Start ’em young!)

What do you enjoy most about being a part of an academic museum?

The focus on learning and engagement for communities on and off campus. We are both UGA’s university museum and Georgia’s official state museum of art, and I am deeply proud of the work the museum does to reach groups on campus and in the broader Athens community. There is such rich opportunity for collaboration and multi-disciplinary learning at the university, and I feel lucky to be a part of a vibrant community of scholars, experts, and students that represent such a diverse range of subject areas on campus. And I love teaching in the galleries with students; it’s a joy and a privilege to find creative ways to help students connect to the museum, to art, and to each other in our spaces.

What are your hopes for our industry?

I hope that academic museums can move toward becoming more equitable and accessible institutions, both internally and in their public-facing work. Academic museums provide such essential training and experiential learning for emerging museum professionals, and I hope that they can be at the forefront of breaking down barriers to entering the field by addressing issues like equitable pay, diversity and inclusion.

With conference coming up, can you share a bit about your forthcoming presentation?

I am participating in a panel discussion titled “Case Studies in Care: Cultivating Spaces and Collaborations in Universities through Museum Education,” along with colleagues Carissa DiCindio (University of Arizona), Dana Kletchka (Ohio State University), Chelsea Farrar (University of Arizona Museum of Art), and Jenna Green (doctoral student, University of Arizona). We’ll be discussing the historical foundations of care and wellness in art museum education, exploring how care theory and praxis can cultivate a sense of belonging between university students and museums, and sharing examples of programs from our respective institutions. Join us on Wednesday, June 26 at 11 am EST!