A little something about Sam

For as long as I can remember, I have always loved drawing and crafting. When the opportunity to study art at the Southern Institute of Technology came about I seized it - perfect really, having moved a couple of years earlier to Southland from Christchurch with my husband and family. I vividly remember saying “I’ll just do a year and develop my artistic skills a bit”. Three years and a bachelor’s degree later, I was caught up in an exciting new adventure. 

During this time in Invercargill I discovered the IPAG in Don Street. I had to walk past the gallery most days on my way home, so of course there were a few days where I was a little later home than intended. I just loved visiting the gallery, the staff and of course the wonderful collection and exhibitions they held – Oh what a place to work I thought!

I was also in close proximity to the Invercargill City Library and Archives and spent quite a bit of time there studying. Having gained a bookbinding trade while living in Christchurch, I was able to put this to good use when I decided to volunteer at the Library making archival enclosures (fancy boxes). It was here that Loren Baxter (the then Assistant Project Registrar at IPAG) noticed my attention to detail and handy practical skills. I was soon volunteering for both the Library and IPAG learning about collection care and Invercargill’s amazing collection of art. This helped me rediscover a passion for museum practice I had left mostly by the wayside.

Now working for IPAG I feel incredibly lucky to be part of a great team in an industry I had only ever dreamed of being able to enter, as I chose trade training over university when I left school. I am very much looking forward to the next few months and hopefully soon we will be in our new space. 

When not working or volunteering I am often busy with books, craft, artwork and my two children. My love of reading and creating having been successfully passed onto my children – this does however mean that we live in a constant whirl of almost finished projects. When not working on these various pastimes, I enjoy time mucking about with my horses which I share with my Mum and more recently the children too.

Although my first month at IPAG has been unconventional by new job standards, it has been a challenge I have readily embraced. Like many people currently, we at IPAG are working from home - something that recent study and bookbinding from home has left me well set up for. I must admit though getting back into the office and continuing to work with the collection and wider team will be really great - What a very strange but exciting time in my career in the arts!

Sam Chandler

Assistant Curator / Administrator