Curator of Education
"I am able to incorporate my two passions with this position at Southeast, education and art. I enjoy working with people and promoting the arts in our area. I love to hear the stories people tell, that connect them to our exhibits and displays," Hahs says.
A Sikeston, Missouri native, Hahs received her bachelor's degree from Southeast Missouri State University in Education and Fine Art.
She was an elementary classroom teacher for six years, and previously work in graphics.
In 2005, Hahs was employed as outreach specialist for Crisp Museum, operating the Southeast Explorer Mobile Museum. After being promoted to curator of education, Hahs began expanding the museum's education.
Her duties include overseeing and developing the educational programming, interacting with the public, advertising and web development.
Hahs started a successful program in 2007 called Tuesdays at the Museum. She teaches weekly classes, from age three to adult, incorporating art, art history, exploration of materials, and exhibition tours. As an extension of this program in 2011, school groups began attending the museum on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Each semester, the museum hosts a family day event that is held on a Saturday. This event can be related to fine art, regional history or both. Hahs coordinates this event with the university's Show Me Day, where prospective students and the public attend campus. This event requires participation of the museum staff, volunteers and presenters.
Hahs also began the annual Summer Museum Academy in 2008. The museum staff, student workers, volunteers and hired instructors purposefully make this an intensive hands-on program for ages four to fifteen.The museum's summer exhibitions are also incorporated into this four-day program in June.
Very few art exhibitions arrive with educational material provided. Hahs seeks information from the curator of collections, researches artist information, attends artist talks, and questions artists in person about their work. Hahs also coordinates with exhibiting teaching artists to hold workshops for the public, area educators and university students.
As docent, Hahs is an articulate presenter to any size group. She describes the artists' history, the mediums used, the art processes and styles from a factual standpoint. She also incorporates the personal descriptions and meaning of some of the pieces displayed and tells why artists do what they do.
When not managing the education programs for the museum, Ellen spends her time cooking and grilling, traveling, reading, painting, and socializing with friends and family.
She is currently an exhibiting artist. She enjoys realism and has been exploring with symbolism in her pieces. She creates both 2D and 3D works in a wide variety of media.
"What you see is not what you get. There is a always a story behind the art," states Hahs.