Photo: Jon Bolton, Racine, WI
By offering audiences a variety of exhibitions along with related family-friendly activities and events, the Racine Art Museum is experiencing record attendance since its opening in 2003. Many times, these engaging exhibitions draw visitors into the museum for the first time, thus increasing RAM's awareness while continuously delivering enriching cultural experiences.
RAM Executive Director and Curator of Exhibitions Bruce W. Pepich said, "RAM is very concerned about providing its guests with a fine quality experience during their visits to its programs. We pay careful attention to selecting the artworks on display and how they are presented and documented. We also extend this concern to making sure that all aspects of one's visit to RAM are enjoyable. This can include lunch recommendations at local restaurants, help selecting a book on a topic seen in a RAM show or helping guests launch their own art collection by offering work created especially for the Museum Store by artists featured in current exhibitions."
Due to this increased understanding and focus on guest expectations, the Racine Art Museum has created a new position to oversee efforts that serve visitors on a variety of levels. RAM is pleased to announce that Lisa Englander has just been named Principal of the Guest Experience and Retail Division.
Under this new arrangement, Englander will merge the direction of RAM's reception functions-including guest relations, hospitality, and gallery security-with administrative supervision of the museum's entire retail operations. This includes supervision of the Museum Store, the sale of RAM's catalogue publications, and the commissioning of limited editions created by featured artists.
"Lisa Englander will oversee the reception our guests receive as they first enter the museum through their last stop in the Museum Store as they depart, making this journey more rewarding for them. We look forward to better serving our guests by combining these two functions," said Barb Namowicz, RAM's Controller.
Englander, a long-time volunteer at RAM and an employee since 2002, has a BFA in painting from Brooklyn College and both an MFA in Printmaking and an MA in Museum Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In addition to a long-term and successful career as a painter, she established the first Gift Shop at the Charles A. Wustum Museum of Fine Arts in 1983. She managed this operation at the Wustum campus for 19 years, as a volunteer. RAM was built as an outgrowth of the Wustum operation. In 2002, Englander was hired to be the Manager of the new Museum Store, opening RAM's retail facility in December of that year. The Racine Art Museum exhibition galleries opened in May 2003.
Racine Art Museum has one of the most significant contemporary craft museums in the United States, with more than 5,000 in the permanent collection. Its focus is on work from internationally recognized artists in ceramics, fibers, glass, metals and wood as well as painting, sculpture, and works on paper.