After nearly fifteen years at the Museum in various leadership positions, Patricia King will be stepping down as our associate director to join Waterville Creates! in the newly designed role of vice president of Programs and Operations. Patricia, affectionately referred to as “P.K.” among her colleagues, has played an essential role in stewarding our collection, organizing our administration and marketing plans, and engaging with our board of governors to ensure the Museum can support our many exhibitions and programs. The Lantern sat down with P.K. to hear more about her experiences at the Museum and her goals for the future. We will miss her dearly!
What propelled you to first enter the museum field?
I was a studio art major in college and I’ve always been interested in creativity and the arts. After I graduated, I needed to find employment and found a part-time position at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in its catalog sales department. From there, I held a series of different positions at the MFA, Boston, its museum school, and the Addison Gallery of American Art, and when I moved to Maine, I was fortunate that the Colby Museum was looking to hire its first full-time museum registrar.
You’ve been at the Museum for nearly fifteen years! What was the Museum like when you first arrived?
Over the past decade, the Museum has grown tremendously, adding over a dozen staff positions, increasing the scale of its exhibition program, and building a new wing. How do you account for this expansion?
Well, certainly the arrival of the Lunder Collection and other key gifts from very generous donors had a significant impact on the Museum and its teaching mission—and many elements grew from there: the Museum’s strategic plan, the 2013 expansion of the Alfond-Lunder Family Pavilion, additional staff to directly support outreach to students and faculty, and the support needed to execute the Museum’s strategic goals. In order to achieve these initiatives while simultaneously adhering to best practices in the field, you need the human resources to undertake and achieve these programs and projects—so, in short, the staff growth is directly related to the Museum’s growth in collections and exhibitions, and its educational programs.
What have been some of the highlights of your time at the Colby Museum and what will you miss most?
Without hesitation, I will miss my museum colleagues the most. I have been fortunate to have had so many wonderful opportunities and learning experiences with everyone here—it’s been a remarkable journey. I am so grateful and constantly in awe of the work that happens at this Museum.
What are you most looking forward to in your new role as vice president of Programs and Operations at Waterville Creates!?
I’m looking forward to new challenges that this role will inevitably provide and I am also excited about the opportunity to work outside of a museum context—I’ve actually only known the museum environment for the past twenty-five years, so this next chapter really is another beginning for me. I’m thrilled to be a part of the revitalization of Waterville more directly and am hopeful that my project management skills and collaborative approach to problem solving will advance the initiatives and goals for the entire Waterville community.