When we open ourselves to art, we open ourselves to the world – to beauty, craft, to different cultures, to pain and pleasure, expression and emotion.

Staff Spotlight: Chris Pelletier

As the Head Preparator at the Gibbes, Chris is responsible for the care for, transportation, and installation of works of art in the galleries.

This week in our Staff Spotlight, we have Chris Pelletier, head preparator at the Gibbes!

How long have you been at the Gibbes?
I’ve worked at the Gibbes for two and a half years now.

Describe your role here at the museum in a few sentences.
I mainly handle all the installation and art-handling needs for the Museum. In general, that means anything that has to do with the physical aspects of displaying (installing) artwork, its storage, or its movement (packing, unpacking, etc.). My job also includes mount-making, frame restoration, carpentry, and fabrication, among other very cool things.

What brought you to the Gibbes? Tell us about how you ended up here!
My wife and I had moved to Mount Pleasant just as the Gibbes was coming to the close of its two-year renovation and I was looking for work. Through a contact from my previous employer in the metro-Washington, DC, area, I was told the Gibbes was looking for contractors to assist with the re-installing and art-handling of the collection. My experience in museum services and fine arts fit well. My background includes completing commercial sculpture for casinos, cruise lines, and retail clients; ornamental plaster; bronze-foundry work as head mold maker; mount making; fabrication; restoration; and care of/installation of art collections for clients nationwide that include the US Supreme Court, US State Department, Smithsonian Institution, and the US Army. I was fortunate enough to be hired as a contractor and, after the renovation was completed, I had further good-luck to be called back shortly after and hired as full-time staff.

Chris is responsible for ensuring that all works in the galleries are secure in their placement.
Chris is responsible for ensuring that all works in the galleries are secure in their placement.

What is your favorite work in the collection and why?
Patrick Dougherty’s Betwixt and Between. As a sculptor myself, Patrick has been one of my favorite artists for many years and having the opportunity to work with him and his son on this piece was a privilege. He and his son Sam are just great guys who work hard to get the job done (without any drama!). I worked closely with him from the collection of the materials to the construction of the piece and the finishing touches, and ultimately helped produce the work seen in the Gibbes today. It has special meaning to me and being able to see visitors of all ages react with such wonder and astonishment has been extremely rewarding.


A short video shows the collection of materials and installation process of Betwixt and Between at the Gibbes.

Besides the Gibbes, where do you take friends and family for the quintessential Charleston/Lowcountry experience?
The Bulls Island Ferry for shelling, incredible wildlife, and driftwood beaches is essential. A walk south of Broad St. for the Charleston cultural vibe or a stroll on Pitt St. Bridge followed by some sunset dolphin watching, drinks, and dinner on Shem Creek. Do these things immediately if you haven’t yet.

April 27, 2018

Top Image: As the head preparator at the Gibbes, Chris is responsible for the care for, transportation, and installation of works of art in the galleries.

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