We’ve added some new faces to the team in the second half of 2019. As the year comes to a close, here’s a brief introduction to the newest Whatcom Museum staff members. Be sure to say hello if you see them on campus!
Susan Buck, Family Interactive Gallery (FIG) Supervisor
As the Family Interactive Gallery Supervisor, Susan Buck ensures a safe, welcoming, and educational space for our guests. This includes managing Museum staff and working with the educational team to support programs and curriculum in the FIG.
Before joining the Museum, Susan worked in education. She originally studied Communications at the University of Georgia. After a few years in corporate communications, she decided to go into education. She received her teaching degree at Metropolitan State University of Denver and her Master’s in Elementary Mathematics at Walden University.
Before settling in Bellingham, Susan lived throughout the country, including Fresno, California; Rochester, Minnesota; Austin, Texas; Marietta, Georgia; Denver, Colorado, and more.
Moving forward at the Museum, she says she’s excited to see the FIG evolve with the needs of the community. She also looks forward to seeing the Museum’s new exhibits.
When she’s out of the office, Susan enjoys going to the theater, gardening, kayaking, and hiking with her family.
Maria Coltharp, Curator of Collections / Registrar
As the Curator of Collections and Registrar, Maria Coltharp is responsible for the development, care, and safekeeping of the Museum’s collections and all objects borrowed in the course of producing exhibitions. She works closely with the Curator of Art and the Director of Exhibitions to handle exhibition planning and logistics.
Prior to joining the Museum, Maria spent four years as the Curator of Collections and Registrar at the University Art Museum at California State University (CSULB), Long Beach. There, she had the chance to coordinate conservation projects aimed at preserving the mid-century sculpture collection. Prior to CSULB, she worked at the Broad Art Foundation for six years and traveled the world as a courier for the Foundation’s contemporary art collection. She also worked as an exhibition registrar at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).
She says she’s excited for exhibition rotations, from dispersing and collecting loans to installations and planning. “The energy, adrenaline, and teamwork it takes to tear it down and start again with something new is a really rewarding part of this job – it’s a cycle that never allows boredom to creep in.”
Originally from Long Beach, California, Maria studied Art History at UC Berkeley before interning at the Berkeley Art Museum, the Long Beach Museum of Art, and others.
While Maria can’t pick a favorite artist, she says she loves Sophie Calle and Cecily Brown. In her spare time, Maria enjoys hiking with her family.
Stephanie Douglas, Museum Store Purchaser
Stephanie Douglas is the newest Museum staff member to join the team. As the Museum Store Purchaser, she works with vendors and local artists to bring in all the merchandise and artwork sold in the Museum Store. Before joining the Museum, she worked at Village Books/Paper Dreams as a buyer and bookseller and previously worked for two libraries.
Stephanie has a degree in English with a Creative Writing focus from Western Washington University. As a self-professed bookworm, she’s looking forward to expanding the Museum Store’s selection of local guides and books. She’s also excited to connect with local artists and provide another space for the public to discover their work.
Although Stephanie was born in Longview, she spent most of her life in Anacortes before moving to Bellingham in 2010. When she’s not sourcing merchandise, she and her husband play in a band called Separatr. She is also a voracious reader, usually reading more than 100 books every year.
Katherine Everitt, Education and Engagement Manager
Katherine Everitt recently joined the Museum staff as the Education and Engagement Manager. In that role, she manages the Museum’s docent program and works with the education team to develop engaging, innovative programming for children and adults. Katherine says she’s eager to see the three pieces on loan from the Smithsonian American Art Museum. “We have put a lot of work into programming surrounding these three masterpieces, so seeing them in real life will surely be a breathtaking moment.”
Before joining the Museum, Katherine worked as a teacher at the Annie Wright School in Tacoma where she taught courses on global politics, US history, world history, and Model UN. She earned her BA in Government and History at Georgetown University before earning her Master of Science in Global Politics from the London School of Economics.
Originally from Los Angeles, Katherine moved to Vashon Island at the age of 16. She now lives in Bellingham and is an avid reader, kayaker, and pianist.
Marianne Graff, Digital Marketing & Administration Manager
Marianne Graff joined the Museum in June as the new Digital Marketing & Administration Manager. In this role, Marianne oversees the Museum’s social media channels, website, and general email marketing. She also handles administrative duties for the Museum and assists Executive Director Patricia Leach. She’s excited to continue to grow the Museum’s social media accounts and promote exciting programs and exhibitions, such as “The Global Language of Headwear.”
Before joining the Museum, Marianne spent seven years as an editor at the daily Skagit Valley Herald in Mount Vernon, Washington. It was there she honed her skills in social media management, design, and communications. Marianne holds a degree in Journalism from Western Washington University.
Originally from Tacoma, Marianne now lives in Bellingham with her husband and their socially awkward cat. When she’s not working, Marianne enjoys hiking, photography, and getting lost in a good book.