Art museum guild ‘off and running’

Courtesy photo: Donna Merkt

BROOKINGS – The South Dakota Art Museum Guild will host its first program and meeting of the season Sept. 28, featuring Donna Merkt, recently appointed Director of The South Dakota Art Museum. The title of her program is “Off and Running!”

Merkt believes art and museums should connect diverse people, promote inclusivity\ and enrich lives. In June 2021, Merkt was named director of the South Dakota Art Museum. Previously, at the Gaylord-Pickens Museum Oklahoma Hall of Fame, Merkt served as director of museum experience (2019-2021), supervising the education, exhibitions, and collections teams as they pivoted to provide robust virtual content and programs during the pandemic. 

Before that, she served as curator of education for the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art (2008-2019), where she exponentially grew K-12 student participation and spearheaded the introduction of Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) in Oklahoma. Merkt is a member of the first class of certified VTS facilitators internationally. She is also an at-large member of the Mountain Plains Museums Association board and serves as chair of MPMA EdCom and the Mountain Plains representative for AAM EdCom. Merkt received her Bachelor of Fine Art degree from Cameron University (Lawton, OK) and her Master of Art in art history from the University of Oklahoma.

After a year of Zoom programming, the guild will once again meet in the museum’s galleries. Those who are unable to attend in-person may again view the program by Zoom. However, advanced registration is required. The link to register is available at www.sdstate.edu/south-dakota-art-museum/guild. With this blended approach, those attending will gather in the museum from 9:30 to 10 a.m. for in-person social time. The program will be from 10-11 a.m. with a short guild meeting following.

There is designated parking for those driving in front of Scobey Hall and behind Scobey Hall during the meeting. If there is a transportation need to and from the meeting contact Pam Adler at 605-688-5423.

The 2021/2022 guild programs will provide lively conversation and interesting speakers from across the U.S. with ties to South Dakota and the South Dakota Art Museum. The guild supports the South Dakota Art Museum through programs like this, volunteering and art acquisition funds. Guild membership is not required to attend these free programs, but the $20 annual dues support these programs and the guild’s Art Acquisition Fund.

Contact Carolyne Hart at 605-688-4313 with any questions regarding this program, registration and the use of Zoom.

While university policy does not allow the museum to require masks, the guild board encourages everyone to wear a mask at the meeting.

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