Coordinator provides ‘muscle’ for museum

Amanda Sowards

Shane Carrico spends his days surrounded by mannequin body parts and power tools. But Carrico is not a dollmaker – he is the exhibitions coordinator for the Kent State University Museum, and his duties are wide-ranging. An average day might consist of building platforms, making mannequins, painting hair and lighting clothing.

Carrico graduated from Kent State with a master’s degree in sculpture. Because of his background, he said he was perfect for the job. He began working at the museum as a graduate student when the staff was in need of an assistant.

Carrico said he found out about the opening because his wife is an associate professor in the School of Fashion Design and Merchandising, and he knew one of the curators. He only worked for a summer and returned to school in the fall.

After graduation, Carrico took a position as assistant preparator at the Akron Art Museum, where he worked for one and a half years.

After the birth of his first son three years ago and his second son 18 months later, Carrico decided to become a stay-at-home dad.

“I wanted to be a big part of my kids’ lives,” he said.

The family also decided that it made more sense for his wife to work.

After two and a half years at home, Carrico decided to re-enter the workforce, and in May was offered a job as the interim coordinator while the university searched for a full-time employee. While he was working, he also was going through the application process of applying for the permanent position.

Last July, the job was his.

Since then, Carrico has been busy putting up new exhibits and tearing down old ones. He said his favorite exhibit was the “Humanist Art, Symbolic Sites” exhibit.

“There is more of a relationship between me and the art because of my background,” he said.

He also enjoyed working on “Spirals & Ellipses: Clothing the Body Three-Dimensionally,” because building and designing the platforms were his ideas.

Problem-solving also is a large portion of his job, which Carrico said is his favorite.

“There aren’t really any rules. I have to figure out how to make it happen,” Carrico said. “I’m pretty much the muscle of the museum most of the time.”

His art background enables him to do much of what he does on a daily basis. For “The Age of Nudity,” he said he had to make a bust from another mannequin, and his experience in casting molds was essential. Learning about space and relationships between objects helps him when he hangs artwork.

Now that Carrico has finished with “The Age of Nudity,” he quickly will start work on the “Sleuthing at the Seams: A 1750s Blue and Silver Dress” exhibit, which will open March 20.

Contact fashion reporter Amanda Sowards at [email protected].