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Amanda Krugliak

Department/Unit: Institute for the Humanities

Working Title: Assistant Director/Creative Programming, Arts Curator

Let's get to know Amanda...

How long have you been with the university, and how long in your current position?

I’ve been at the University since 2007 and Curator/Assistant Direct since 2016

What has been your most memorable experience at U-M?

Collaborating with Jason De Leon, on the exhibition State of Exception, based upon his Undocumented Migration Project....that process over five years working together, the commitment, everything I learned.

What gives you a connection to your job and helps you define your purpose?

I'm deeply passionate about art and what art can do, how it can effect change in our community, offer creative solutions, offer a space for informed discussions about the challenges that face us institutionally and in society. The arts can ignite research, and together art and research can make an imprint in the world. I also really care about the University, I'm attached. I'm an alumni, as are others in my family. So for me, it's meaningful that I can contribute to the University's present and future through my work, it's what I can bring to the table.

 

What motivates and energizes you at work?

I'm interested and excited by what other people are doing, what they have to say, taking the time to have those conversations... ....what others are thinking about and working on, those varying perspectives...whether it is a scholar or student, or staff. That excites me, inspires me, to then think about how to connect the dots, what can we do to engage people through the arts, that reach... to have the greatest impact. I like thinking about how to make a project "light up," the next step, the rippling of a project, how to make things happen.

What advice would you give to a new employee at the university?

Walk with your head up when you cross the Diag, so you can see what's ahead, so that you don't miss anything... like running into someone and having an amazing conversation, learning about something happening on campus, or seeing something new you hadn't noticed, or in a new way. Get out of your building some part of the day! Remember one thing leads to another, all the steps we take and the relationships we make...be open to the possibility of things, new ways to see, I mean, why not?

What is one thing about yourself you think people would be surprised to know?

I know how to play the harp.

 

 
 
Amanda Krugliak, Assistant Director, Creative Programming, Arts Curator Institute for the Humanities and Dean Andrew Martin

Amanda Krugliak graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Art. After graduating, she headed west to pursue her creative outlets, eventually putting down roots in California. She spent 18 years in San Francisco, pursuing her creative talents as an artist and performer, where her performances focused on the issues of women, standing up for them, and giving them a voice. Amanda also was the opening act for many performers, including Cyndi Lauper.

Upon her return to Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan, Amanda taught for a while but contemplated how she could give back to the university and the arts based on her background and experiences in California.

First, she freelanced with the Institute for the Humanities and then became its arts curator eight years ago. Her programs and exhibitions are internationally recognized, and she’s taken exhibitions out to the streets, e.g., graffiti project. You will find various exhibitions showcased throughout the year in Thayer Hall.

Her nomination recognized her work for the university’s Bicentennial celebration, curating Professor Kerstin Barndt’s “Object Lesson” exhibit in the former Ruthven Museum Library. Her nominator, Shery Sytsema-Geiger praised her for “her tireless lengths to assist Kerstin in getting the exhibit organized, curated, and finished on time for its opening on October 12, 2017. Her tireless dedication and support to Kerstin ensured not only a successful opening, but also an enduring tribute to the university’s museum collections from the last 200 years.”

Her most memorable experience at U-M is collaborating with Jason De Leon “on the exhibition ‘State of Exception’, based upon his Undocumented Migration Project. . . that process over five years working together, the commitment, everything I learned.”

When asked about her purpose and defining connection to her job, Amanda states, “I'm deeply passionate about art and what art can do, how it can effect change in our community, offer creative solutions, offer a space for informed discussions about the challenges that face us institutionally and in society. The arts can ignite research, and together art and research can make an imprint in the world. I also really care about the university, I'm attached. I'm an alumna, as are others in my family. So, for me, it's meaningful that I can contribute to the University's present and future through my work, it's what I can bring to the table.”

This is what motivates Amanda, “I'm interested and excited by what other people are doing, what they have to say, taking the time to have those conversations. . . what others are thinking about and working on, those varying perspectives. . . whether it is a scholar or student, or staff. That excites me, inspires me, to then think about how to connect the dots, what can we do to engage people through the arts, that reach. . . to have the greatest impact. I like thinking about how to make a project ‘light up,’ the next step, the rippling of a project, how to make things happen.”

People would be surprised to know that Amanda plays the harp, and if she were a flavor of ice cream she would be butter pecan with chocolate sauce on top. You might also see her grabbing lunch at Knights. On a spontaneous day off, you might find Amanda eating breakfast at Zola’s with her daughter, catching a matinee at the Michigan, impulse buying at the Treasure Mart, drinking green tea latte at the Lab, staring at her favorite Diebenkorn at UMMA, running through the "Wave Field" by Maya Lin on North Campus, attending an art opening, lecture or poetry reading if there is one, or watching Netflix in her jammies.

Amanda’s advice to a new employee is: “Walk with your head up when you cross the Diag, so you can see what's ahead, so that you don't miss anything. . . like running into someone and having an amazing conversation, learning about something happening on campus, or seeing something new you hadn't noticed, or in a new way. Get out of your building some part of the day! Remember one thing leads to another, all the steps we take and the relationships we make. . . be open to the possibility of things, new ways to see, I mean, why not?”