Jodi McCoy’s role as Director of Exhibitions in the Art + Design Department, encompasses much more than her three-word title. Jodi’s concentration lies in the Brick City Gallery, which involves curating, designing, marketing, and interpreting exhibits, but her contributions reach much further.
Her adoration for museums began at a young age. “Growing up in Austin, Texas, my grandmother always took me to the Austin Children’s Museum (now Thinkery),” she shares, “So art has always had a significant place in my life.” Jodi began her collegiate career at Baylor University studying psychology, but after taking an art history class “on a whim” (as Jodi recalls), she immediately switched her major to art history and never looked back.
Following undergrad and before her graduate studies at the University of Oklahoma, she worked as a professional framer. At this time, Jodi hadn’t yet decided to focus museum studies, but unbeknownst to her, this ‘in-between’ job aligned serendipitously with her future endeavors. “My goal was to stay engaged [with] the arts in some way until grad school,” reflects Jodi, “But I never anticipated how useful framing skills would be in my eventual career!” With a MA in Museum Studies, Jodi worked as the Gallery Assistant/Communications Coordinator and Interim Gallery Director in Indiana before joining the Art + Design Department here at Missouri State.
Not only does she manage the Brick City Gallery, but also the Student Exhibition Center, the Taylor Gallery at the Magers Health and Wellness Center, and more. With the popularity of podcasts at an all-time high, Jodi has been working as the producer and host of the podcast, The Business of Art and Design, along with students in which interviews with professional artists and designers are conducted.
Jodi’s impact has also influenced the brand-new Museum Studies major and minor, now offered to Art + Design Students. She teaches courses within this program, as well as aids in expanding the curriculum. As an educator, her goal lies in “contributing to the next generation of museum studies scholars’ education. […] The future of museums lies in their hands, and I can only hope that the knowledge I can impart strengthens these irreplaceable institutions’ longevity,” shares Jodi. New courses include: Museum Collections Management, Museum Exhibits, Museum Programs, and Controversy in Museums.
Throughout her various endeavors benefitting the department, Jodi says that her favorite part and the most rewarding is “working with students in the gallery and the classroom. Passing down knowledge and skills that I was lucky enough to receive from mentors is always fulfilling.”
Brick City recently presented its first exhibition of the school year, Brianna Bass’s Chromaphone. “When Brianna and I were planning her exhibition, […] I envisioned it being the perfect exhibition to re-open the gallery,” adds Jodi, “As we emerged from our summer of isolation, I wanted the gallery to be a safe, approachable, and comforting place to land.”
Jodi has designed Brick City Gallery to be a place of respite, but also a place of critical thinking. “Using exhibitions and programming, I hope to push boundaries and engage our audience in themes that drive them to think critically about their preconceived notions and beliefs,” shares Jodi. The duality of the familiar and of the challenging make Brick City the perfect place for discovery.