The Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art’s mission is to provide arts education, create unique experiences, and to promote emerging artists. But we don’t do it alone. AKMA members and volunteers are part of a vibrant community of people who recognize the importance of a community-centered arts organization in our lives.
This month, we are recognizing the AKMA members and volunteers who have stepped up to go further…to be part of a vibrant community of people who recognize the importance of a community-centered arts organization in our lives.
Meet J. Eric Simmons
How long have you been involved at the museum?
I have been involved on the board of directors for less than a year since being elected in December 2020. But I have been involved in different ways for many years.
Why did you initially get involved with the Board of Directors?
I originally got involved with the museum as a local visual arts educator at Central High School where I worked with students to submit works of art to the regional high school exhibition sponsored by the museum. It was at that time that I became a member of the museum and began submitting my own work to the annual membership shows. From there I fell in love with the museum and wanted to support it in this new capacity as a board member.
What is a favorite memory you have here?
One of my favorite memories of the AKMA takes us back to the 1990s when I was in elementary school and my Art teacher took my class to the AKMA. This was my first time visiting the museum, and it was so impactful! I distinctly remember walking through the galleries and original house seeing the ornate detail of the woodwork and the artifacts and native imagery in the home. I was in awe!
Who has made the most impact on you at the AKMA?
A huge shoutout goes to Sharon Kosek for helping guide me into being more active with the museum. She is an inspiration!
Any words of wisdom about your time on the board?
My goal as an artist and educator is for our AKMA to become a true focal point of our community for youth and adult arts education. The arts are so important for the development of a well-rounded individual, and the AKMA is here to meet that need!
Thank you, Eric!
J. Eric Simmons is a Visual Arts Teacher at Central High School in St. Joseph, Missouri.
See yourself here
AKMA members and volunteers are teachers, students, parents, business owners, artists, non-artists, entrepreneurs, employees, builders, adventurers, and –most importantly–supporters of our mission to educate the public, provide access to unique and meaningful experiences, and nurture emerging artists. Go further with us by becoming a member. If you’re already a member, consider going further to the next membership level.