Ever since the age of 17 Chaney Jewell knew she wanted to be an art historian. Today, as the Curator of Collections for the Art and Science Center of Southeast Arkansas, she is living out that dream.
During her time at Missouri State, Chaney studied art history and minored in museum studies, she cites this as an amazing experience. “Seeing Brick City and the diverse courses [for museum studies] made me jump to apply for their Art History Program,” Chaney reflects, remembering her first visit to MSU as a senior in high school.
The experiences and knowledge gained while in museum studies held a much broader world view than most programs. “I quickly learned in graduate school and [in] the museum field that having the opportunity to learn about ‘non-western’ cultures, conservation and preservation methods, and theory are rare occurrences,” shares Chaney. She was able to take advantage of those unique opportunities during her undergraduate years thanks to the comprehensive and diverse courses taught by Dr. Follensbee, Dr. Jolivette, and Dr. Kirkland-Ives.
Chaney has been able to use those skills in her current position as Curator. Working in the close-knit environment of her “small institution, I wear many hats,” she shares, “I fill the role as Curator by exhibition planning, but I also serve as a registrar managing the art collection.” You can even find her painting pedestals for the exhibits, leading tours, writing grants, and much more.
Due to the current need for digital communication between museums and visitors, Chaney can add social media strategist to her list of expertise. “I have begun creating virtual exhibitions,” she explains, “and hosting a variety of virtual events.”
Her ever-changing role, as well as the variety of her daily tasks are what Chaney enjoys most about her job. “The diverse tasks I complete keep the job interesting and allow my creative thinking to thrive,” Chaney shares. The community and support found within museum studies, as well as with the artists she works with have been a continuous inspiration for her as well. “One of my greatest joys is making new connections with artists and creating relationships that I know will last a lifetime,” says Chaney.