Charlotte Potter Kasic, the founding manager of the Chrysler Museum of Art Glass Studio, left Norfolk, Virginia, in 2017 to move back to her native Vermont and start her family. Now she's returning to the Hampton Roads area to take a newly created position of manager of museum education and engagement at the Barry Art Museum, which is part of Old Dominion University, and houses the collection of Richard and Carolyn Barry, longtime benefactors of the Chrysler Museum.
"The Barry Art Museum and its board are delighted to welcome such a talented and creative artist and innovative educator back to the Norfolk community," Barry Art Museum executive director Jutta-Annette Page said in a prepared statement. "Ms. Kasic will be a terrific asset to our Museum. Her career focus on developing inclusive strategic programs for diverse audiences will, again, enrich the arts of Hampton Roads at large."
In her new position, Potter Kasic will be charged with developing new educational programs with an eye towards digital learning platforms. She's also planning to expand the museum's collaborations with the larger Old Dominion University Community, as well as build out regional networks which no doubt will stretch back to the Norfolk area where she had been so influential leading the Chrysler's glass studio.
In an email exchange, the Glass Quarterly Hot Sheet caught up with Potter Kasic to ask her about her decision to circle back to Virginia.
Glass Quarterly: What inspired you to pull up stakes and move back to the greater Norfolk, Virginia, area?
Charlotte Potter Kasic: Often animals will migrate back to the very birthing grounds they were born in to have their own young, it is biologically programmed. Scientists say that the logic seems to be, "if I was able to grow up there, my own offspring will thrive there too"... We moved back to my hometown in Vermont for this very reason~ to start a family. Our kids are now almost 3 and 1.5 years old, and my husband's work offered him a promotion back in Virginia. The Head of Education position at the Barry Art Museum opened the same week and I was immediately taken by the opportunity to work with this collection, in the remarkable and diverse Hampton Roads community and beyond. I am still involved with the leadership at Yestermorrow Design Build School, back in Waitsfield Vermont~ as we will always have ties in the area. To push the migration metaphor a bit further, animals travel back to the same back to fertile fields, and for our family, Norfolk has been incredibly supportive and inspiring. We are excited to be back in the region!
Glass Quarterly: How do you see this position as different from managing the Chrysler Glass Studio? Do you see similarities as well?
Charlotte Potter Kasic: The primary parallel is to help audiences connect with a collection, to imbue meaning, demystify the techniques of creation and ultimately to help connect people with one another through art. The Barry Art Museum does not have the hot shop component, therefore when it comes specifically to the glass collection, we will not be falling back on the sexy hot glass demo, which we have all seen can be wildly compelling! It's an exciting opportunity to think more broadly about the ways in which viewers can have interactive and participatory experience with art- across disciplines. The collection itself ranges from paintings and sculpture to antique dolls and atomotons~ there is a lot of territory to explore!
Glass Quarterly: Do you foresee yourself collaborating with your former colleagues at the Chrysler, or do you see this new position as something separate?
Charlotte Potter Kasic: As an artist, my practice is about connecting people, and my role here at the Barry is simply a continuation of that. I will absolutely reach out to my colleagues at the Chrysler, across the ODU campus, (everything from the planetarium and oceanography departments to costume design and theater) and throughout the region/nation. My role is to catalyze and foster relevant conversations- connecting seemingly disparate contingencies and engage with our remarkable collection.