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Kris Stanec, Polly Nordstrand Join Museum Staff

The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College (FAC) has added two new staff members, Kris Stanec ’88, MAT ’89 and Polly Nordstrand, to the FAC’s museum department.

“With these two new positions, the FAC will be able to offer rich and exciting programs for our community, and to deepen our commitment to the arts and cultures of the Southwest,” says FAC Museum Director Rebecca Tucker.

Stanec, assistant chair of CC’s Department of Education and the first Mellon Grant Faculty Fellow, has been appointed director of museum education and will be responsible for the direction and management of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College museum’s public education programs. Stanec will collaborate with the museum staff to create innovative education programs developed around museum exhibitions which will enhance the experience for all visitors. Stanec brings a longstanding commitment to the Colorado Springs community, outstanding collaboration skills, and a deep commitment to public education.

A faculty member in CC’s Department of Education since 1999 and senior lecturer, Stanec is a professional member of the National Art Education Association (NAEA), the Colorado Art Education Association (CAEA), and the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). Stanec's courses at CC include Arts Integration: Creating Critical Thinkers and Connected Communities, as well as Critical Pedagogies in Literacy, Curriculum, and Instruction Methods. Her in-services and conference presentations include “Changing Paradigms – Using the Arts to increase Critical Thinking” and “Integrating Technology and the Arts in a Standards-based Curriculum,” among others.

Stanec graduated from Colorado College cum laude with a BA in psychology and a minor in theory and practice of the arts, and earned a Masters of Arts in Teaching (MAT) with an emphasis in elementary education.

pollyNordstrand (Hopi), has been appointed curator of Southwest Art. Nordstrand will curate exhibitions from the museum’s permanent collection, including the historic Taylor Collection, as well as special exhibitions of modern and contemporary art from the American Southwest. Her work will support the museum’s efforts to bring the finest art from the Southwest region to the Colorado Springs community, and to build relationships with local, regional, and national artists, source cultures, and institutions.

Nordstrand is a former Research Associate of Native American Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Arts of Africa, Oceania and The Americas Department, and has an extensive background as a curator. She has taught at the Institute for American Indian Arts, the University of Colorado, Denver, and Cornell University. She has been awarded fellowships at the Newberry Library, American Indian Studies Consortium Institute, Otswego Institute for Native American Art, and National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian – to name a few. Nordstrand has published in Art Quantum: The Eiteljorg Fellowship for Native American Fine Art, [Re]inventing the Wheel: Advancing the Dialogue on Contemporary American Indian Art, and more. Selected exhibitions include Indigenous Masterpieces: Diker Collection of American Indian Art, New York, NY, 2016; Fritz Scholder: New Indian Images, Denver, CO, 2009; Maria: American Icon, Denver, CO, 2007; Breaking the Mold: The Virginia Vogel Mattern Collection of Contemporary Native American Art, Denver, CO, 2006; and Fonseca’s Coyote: Living with the Trickster, Denver, CO, 2006. As associate curator of Native Art at the Denver Art Museum, she made acquisitions of important, contemporary Native art, including works by Ricka Bartow, Jeffrey Gibson, James Luna, Jolene Rickard, Melanie Yazzie, and others.

“These two new colleagues reflect the commitment to excellence in exhibitions and programs at the FAC,” Tucker says. “In her new role, Kris Stanec will be continuing her terrific work with the Colorado Springs K-12 schools, collaborating with teachers and reaching out to build new curricular connections. Polly Nordstrand’s wide-ranging experience with Native art and artists is a tremendous asset for the museum, and we are excited to share her expertise with the campus and the community.”