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Buffalo AKG Art Museum Hires Charlie Garling as Director of Learning and Creativity

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Buffalo, NY – Today the Buffalo AKG Art Museum announced the hiring of Charlie Garling as the inaugural Director of Learning and Creativity. Garling comes to the museum with twenty years of experience leading learner-centered creative practices. He will oversee the development and implementation of a robust suite of innovative, playful, and engaging educational offerings, including classroom learning, hands-on artmaking, interpretive planning, gallery tours, and accessible and meaningful experiences for the public. 

Garling joined the AKG after two decades at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), where he was their first Director of Studio Programs. In this role, he set the vision for the DIA’s creative practices, fostered strategic partnerships with organizations, businesses, and municipalities, and oversaw a broad array of artmaking programs—within the museum and throughout southeast Michigan, serving more than 45,000 participants annually. He devised and administered the museum’s community-focused public art program and led a team of artists and educators who experimented with visitor-centered artmaking experiences created with and for diverse audiences of all ages and abilities.  

Prior to his leadership at the DIA, Garling worked for thirteen years as an art teacher for Dearborn Public Schools, the last five at a Title 1 school with a student body of seven hundred English language learners. He served his colleagues as a Union Representative for the Dearborn Federation of Teachers, chaired the Art Advocacy Committee, and represented the district in the Galileo Leadership Program-Education Leadership Cohort. 

Garling earned a BFA in Art Education with a minor in Visual Arts and an MA in Curriculum and Instruction at Michigan State University. 

A passionate advocate for collaborative creativity, he is motivated by the belief that individual and communal experiences with art act as heuristic vehicles for community engagement, personal wellness, and the exploration and expression of identity.