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January 17, 2013

PSU Art Museum selects new educator

PLATTSBURGH —  Pursuit of an education and a career holds Samantha Bellinger north of her native North Carolina.

The new museum educator at the Plattsburgh State Art Museum majored in art history at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Penn., graduating in 2007.

She completed a Margie and Nate Thorne Education and Collections Management Fellowship at the Shelburne Museum in Vermont in 2009.

“Whenever the museum was open, I was in the education department working with school kids and adult audiences,” Bellinger said.

“When the museum was closed for the season, I was in collections management, where I worked on starting the collections data base.”

WORKING ON THESIS

Post-fellowship, Bellinger headed south to begin a doctorate program at the University of Maryland at College Park.

“After about a year, I realized my career path and my educational path didn’t mesh.”

Though she loved 17th-century Dutch art, the subject matter was the wrong track for the profession she wanted. So, she traveled back north to Skidmore College in Saratoga, where she is in the process of earning a master’s degree in arts administration.

“I’m finished with my coursework and am currently working on my thesis. I’m looking into how physical space of a gallery or exhibition can help or hinder learning for all visitors, specifically for schoolchildren.”

She most recently worked as an early-intervention consultant for the Department of Children and Families in Waterbury, Vt.

“I had always been keeping my eye out in the area for something more permanent than what I had done previously.”

The job at SUNY Plattsburgh opened upon the 2012 retirement of her predecessor, Marguerite Eisinger.

Bellinger researched the college and Plattsburgh area and phoned a few contacts she’d met through her Shelburne connection.

SOAKING UP INFO

She was ecstatic to be selected for the post.

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