Seth Papac

Seth Papac

SNAG Board Candidate
Seth Papac’s trifurcated practice involves teaching and mentoring students; researching and producing conceptual one-of-a-kind jewelry; and owning and operating an innovative limited production jewelry company, Seth Papac Jewelry. Before joining the faculty at RISD as a Visiting Assistant Professor, he served as Department Head of Metal at The Oregon College of Art and Craft and previously taught full-time at San Diego State University. As a visiting artist and critic, Seth has had the opportunity to engage with an international spectrum of students, notably in Finland and in Colombia as part of En Construcción: Simposio de Joyería Contemporánea. Seth received his BFA from the University of Washington and an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. His work is exhibited and published internationally and he is the recipient of several awards and grants including the Louise Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award and the Toby Devan Lewis Fellowship. His work is part of numerous permanent collections including the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Cranbrook Art Museum, and the Rotasa Foundation.

What does SNAG mean to you? Why are you interested in committing your time and energy to our organization?

SNAG is a community. SNAG is a connective tissue that supports and connects the diversity of practitioners, educators, administrators, writers, curators, and entrepreneurs which constitute the multifaceted field of jewelry. I believe in, and want to contribute too, the important role SNAG plays in supporting the health, vitality, and diversity of our field.

What do you think are the characteristics of a great Board member?

My experience in a range of positions at public and private educational institutions have allowed me to understand the necessity of sensitivity, flexibility, inclusivity, objectivity, collaboration, and organization in successfully supporting a broad range of constituents. I believe these are important characteristics of a great board member.

Fundraising is a significant obligation of Board service. Can you tell us about your experience in fundraising?

Although my fundraising experience is limited, I have previous experience utilizing crowd funding, with stepped donation rewards, to fundraise. Building upon and expanding SNAG’s relationships with relevant businesses, sponsors, and partner organizations, as well as capitalizing on the potential of social media, offer avenues to engage with and expand fundraising.

Board members bring experience, wisdom, strategic thinking, and their support network contacts. Can you tell us about yours?

As an educator for the last twelve years, I have experience engaging with a rewarding variety of colleagues, students, and administrative responsibilities. These varied positions, ranging from large public state universities at the US/Mexico border, to a free inner city community college, to private art and design institutions, have allowed me to nurture a sensitive ability to work conscientiously with a diverse range of constituents. Along with producing conceptual one of a kind jewelry, I own and operate a limited production jewelry company. This experience has given me practical business and professional knowledge with branding, marketing, public relations, photography, web-development, trade show display and sales, packaging, pricing, and target market research. I have and continue to nurture personal and professional networks across these three branches of my practice, and will certainly utilize them in service to supporting the organization.

What kind of autonomy do you have over your calendar? Are you prepared to commit the needed time to this leadership position?

My teaching schedule varies from term to term, and my artistic and business practice is flexible and in balance with my teaching. This flexibility, as well as my strong ability for organization and multi-tasking, allow me the practice and confidence to take on this responsibility.

Can you describe a problem you have had to address that reached a point of crisis? How did you solve it?

Previously, I accepted a position as a Department Head at a private art and craft school. Within four or five months of being in the position, the school announced that it was exploring merging with another institution, and if that was not successful, then it was likely to close. Obviously, this sent the community of students (matriculated and extended ed), faculty, and staff into crisis mode. As a Department Head, it was absolutely crucial to be available, transparent and generous with communication and listening. Although not a solution, it was my responsibility to be a support system for community members, and to help move the institution gracefully through the transition.

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