New art education team lands at MAM

Jenny Bevill and Kay Grissom-Kiely (Photo courtesy of MAM)

Missoula Art Museum has hired a curator of education and an educator/coordinator who will work collaboratively to deepen the museum’s educational and public programs.

As the new curator of education, Kay Grissom-Kiely has returned to MAM to lead the educational vision for the museum and Jenny Bevill will take on the position of educator/coordinator.

Grissom-Kiely is most excited about the team approach.

“Jenny and I are a dynamic duo in museum education and we are eager to share and connect with the Missoula community,” said Grissom-Kiely.  “We look forward to advancing MAM’s work to make the museum even more accessible to artists, teachers, students, and populations with special needs while bringing together people of all ages, ethnicities, and demographics.”

Grissom-Kiely was director of education at the Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago and has been committed to arts education throughout her career. She worked at MAM previously as development director and grant writer. She has an extensive background in art, with a master’s degree in art history, theory, and criticism in modern and contemporary art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she focused on contemporary women artists of Cuba, and a bachelor’s degree in art history from Depauw University in Indiana.

While in Chicago, she worked at Marwen and Gallery 37, both inner-city arts centers. She completed a curatorial internship for the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, as well as internships in museum education at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Eiteljorg Museum of Native American and Western Art in Indianapolis.  Kay brings experience designing and implementing teen mentorship programs in the arts, curriculum-based arts integrated programs, jobs-training programs in the arts, and other interpretive programs from institutions with nationally recognized arts and museum education programs.

Jenny Bevill joins MAM mid-May as the new educator/coordinator. She has a master’s degree in art and art education from Teachers College at Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in illustration from Parsons School of Design. Bevill worked for 10 years at the Guggenheim Museum as a teaching artist and mentor in their Learning Through Art Program, and previously as lead teaching artist in many programs, including an Annenberg Grant through The Center for Arts Education in New York City.

Since 2015, Bevill has led professional development training for teachers across the state. She has worked with Flathead Valley Community College, Humanities Montana, the Montana Arts Council, and the Montana Office of Public Instruction to develop online courses in arts integration and to provide experiential instruction in teaching for creativity, social emotional learning, mindfulness, and current best practices in the art classroom.

Both Bevill and Grissom-Kiely bring unique abilities and experience to the two positions.

“I believe our skill sets are really complimentary,” said Bevill. “I’m excited to offer my perspective as a working artist and my experience with curriculum design and working in public schools to enrich the educational offerings at MAM. I look forward to meeting all the wonderful artists, guides and volunteers, and supporting them in their teaching at MAM.”

Senior Curator Brandon Reintjes is likewise enthusiastic about the transition, “This is transformative for MAM! We’re building on the wonderful foundation developed by [retired Curator of Education] Renée Taaffe, forming an Education Team to meet the increasing demand of educational opportunities coming our way.”