#TeamTuesday: Katie Kizer

Katie Kizer is the Collections and Exhibitions Assistant at the Dixon. Hired in July 2017, her role at the Dixon is split primarily between two important responsibilities: assisting Registrar Kristen Kimberling with maintaining up-to-date digital records in our collections management database, and assisting Curator Julie Pierotti with research and content creation for upcoming exhibitions.

During a typical week at the Dixon, Katie begins most days by mailing Dixon catalogues that have sold online to their respective new owners. These catalogues travel to destinations all over the country and represent the hard work and original scholarship of Dixon staff. Katie spends two mornings per week working with Dixon garden staff to create labels featuring the freshly cut floral arrangements on display in the Catmur Foyer and Residence galleries. In addition to listing the common and botanical names of each flower, these labels explain to visitors where in the gardens the plants are grown. The bulk of Katie’s days at the Dixon are spent at her desk in “The Loft,” where she conducts research, organizes preliminary exhibition checklists, coordinates local loan transportation, etc. You will also see her in the galleries conducting tours for Tours at Two or assisting with the handling of art objects.

Some of Katie’s favorite moments at the Dixon occur between exhibitions while working with Curatorial staff to install/ de-install the shows in the galleries. During these two-to-three-week intervals, she gets to meet interesting museum professionals from all over the country who travel as couriers alongside the works from their museum collections to assist with installation. She also hones a variety of unexpected skills in the galleries, such as using a power drill to open and close crates containing artwork or driving a pallet jack when the crates are too large to move otherwise (think Isabelle de Borchgrave!). Some of the more interesting (and perhaps less glamorous) aspects of her job entail traveling as a courier herself. Katie once rode on a big-rig transporting art from Shelburne, Vermont to Dallas, Texas for the Dixon originated exhibition Wild Spaces, Open Seasons: Hunting and Fishing in American Art.

While working from home, Katie has been busy writing and editing entries for the forthcoming Dixon permanent collection catalogue. Through her research, she has learned many interesting facts about the artists and works represented in the Dixon collection. She looks forward to sharing her findings with readers of the catalogue and with visitors to the museum when the galleries re-open. Additionally, she has been working with her team on future Dixon exhibitions by preparing loan letters to request artwork for upcoming shows. She has also been working to help create weekly digital content related to the Memphis 2020 exhibition to share with online visitors. To stay connected, Katie attends bi-weekly Zoom meetings with the entire Dixon staff and weekly video chats with the Curatorial department.

Although there will be certain aspects of her work-from-home routine that she will miss, like cuddling with her giant white dog Jabo, Katie looks forward to returning to work at the Dixon where she plans to “wow” co-workers with her stylish cheetah-print facemask ( just kidding, but she does have one and is excited to wear it, along with “real” clothes).

Posted by Kristen Rambo at 9:00 AM
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