Big news from NBF: our Assistant Curator, Aarin Packard, is bringing his talents to Seattle as the curator of the Pacific Bonsai Museum. While we will miss Aarin, we wish him and his family the best on the West Coast. Below is the statement from the Pacific Bonsai Museum. Congratulations, Aarin!
For the past 25 years, the Pacific Bonsai Museum (formerly the Weyerhaeuser Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection) has been home to world-class bonsai originating from around the globe. The Pacific Bonsai Museum is a hidden treasure that celebrates bonsai as a fine art. As the museum celebrates its 25th anniversary, the PBM is proud to announce the addition of two new staff members. Kathy McCabe joins as executive director and Aarin Packard joins as curator, succeeding Dave De Groot. De Groot is retiring this year after serving as the founding curator dating back to the museum’s opening in 1989.
Aarin Packard, a California native, was first introduced to bonsai by his father at a very young age. In high school he began studying bonsai with his close friends as a hobby which he continued throughout his academic studies.
Aarin graduated from California State University Fullerton where he majored in Anthropology. He then received a Master’s degree in Museum Studies from The George Washington University in Washington D.C. While in grad school, Aarin worked for the Institute of Museum and Library Services as well as the Botany Department at the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution.
After graduating from G.W. in 2006, Aarin was hired as the Assistant Curator of The National Bonsai and Penjing at The U.S. National Arboretum. In addition to caring for the Museum’s bonsai collections for the last 8 years, Aarin has had the opportunity to study bonsai with numerous teachers in the U.S. as well as Japan.
Aarin is moving to Federal Way with his wife Emily, and young son Ethan. Aarin and Emily are expecting a new addition to the family this spring.
“Kathy and Aarin bring such a wealth of collective talents that will really benefit the future of the Pacific Bonsai Museum,” said Kit Severson, board chair. “They both have big ideas and creative vision that will make PBM a destination for a wide range of audiences.”