There is no such thing as a typical day for Jennifer Edwards: her job at Bowdoin as the curator of visual arts is one-of-a-kind.

Edwards’ love of art was developed right here at Bowdoin, where she graduated with a major in visual arts and a minor in art history in 1989. Being an art major was a clear decision for Edwards.

“Choosing visual arts as a major seemed natural given that art had always being part of my life and that I learned best visually,” she wrote in an email to the Orient. 

At Bowdoin, Edwards took full advantage of the resources in the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, where she discovered her desire to study the history of photography.  She continued her education at University of Arizona, where she earned her M.A. in Art History. 

Though she was exposed to a larger range of photography at the University of Arizona, she characterizes her time at Bowdoin as “invaluable from a professional standpoint.”  

“Working with original works of art and cataloging collections, as well as gaining a more specialized art historical education, provided the skills and knowledge critical for my current day-to-day work,” Edwards said. 

While her undergraduate education was essential in garnering success in her career, it also motivated her to return to Brunswick, where she currently lives with her husband, Peter Coughlin ’89, and their two daughters.  

As Curator of Visual Resources, Edwards said she “direct[s] and manage[s] the development and operation of the Visual Resources Collection.” She is responsible for giving professors and students access to digital images needed for teaching and learning. She said her days are filled with “a multitude of spur-of-the-moment issues ranging from trouble-shooting technical problems to responding to research inquiries. Larger scale issues like keeping up with developing visual resources practices, data standards and technology play an important role too.”

Edwards says she loves the diverse opportunities that come with her position. She is fortunate to be able to assist classes with various projects, help create materials such as books and brochures with students, and use her creativity to foster new ideas expressed through images.

Her devotion to her career also parallels her dedication to her family. 

“Nowadays, a lot of my time is devoted to my daughters’ activities and interests,” she said.  She regularly brings her girls to Bowdoin basketball and hockey games, and said she enjoys the perks of Maine through running and cross country skiing, while continuing her pastime. 

Jennifer Edwards is a key player in the Bowdoin art world, and she considers herself lucky to be a part of the Bowdoin community. 

“Bowdoin is a community of friends and colleagues, a place of ongoing intellectual challenge,” said Edwards. “Both the campus and the Brunswick area are beautiful and vibrant places to work and live.”