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Ann Wiker Joins Osher Staff

Ann Wiker.jpgAnn Wiker is the new administrative supervisor for the Johns Hopkins University Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. She brings with her a decade of experience with lifelong learning programs, as well as years of experience teaching art to students of all ages.

Wiker started in her position at JHU in March, replacing Susan Howard, who was promoted recently to Osher director. Osher is a noncredit program for retired and semi-retired adults. More than 700 Osher members take classes at the JHU Montgomery County Campus in topics including politics, history, literature, music and art.

Wiker grew up in Columbia, Md. She attended the University of Maryland to study journalism, but changed her career path after taking an art history course she loved. She graduated with a degree in art history and earned a teaching certificate from Loyola University. She taught art in Frederick County Public Schools while she worked on her master’s degree in art education at Towson University.

Soon after, she moved to Baltimore and founded Art Exposure, an organization whose purpose is to expose the community to art through instruction and interaction. Wiker taught art studio, history and appreciation courses, and she coordinated art displays in restaurants, corporate buildings and other public spaces.

Through her work at Art Exposure, Wiker taught at Towson’s Osher program as well at York College. She also taught for the Howard County Department of Parks and Recreation and at community colleges, as well as at lifelong learning programs in Bethesda, Howard County and Baltimore.

She started teaching for the JHU Odyssey program about 10 years ago, and then for Osher. She taught courses about architecture, the business side of art, photography as art, and about the connections between fashion and fine art. “I tend to be interested in not your traditional art history,” Wiker said. “I’m more interested in how art touches everything else. How is art part of architecture? How is art part of photography?”

Working for so many different organizations throughout the state, Wiker jumped at the opportunity for a full-time position with Osher. “This is the organization, of all the different lifelong learning places, I have enjoyed the best,” Wiker said. “It’s very social. [The members] want to be around each other. It’s more than a group of people who show up for a class and then go in different directions.”

In her role, she hopes to continue teaching art classes to Osher students. She also is organizing summer field trips to the Baltimore Museum of Art, Visionary Museum of Art and the Renwick Gallery. She remains involved with Art Exposure.

“One of the reasons I hired Ann was because she already knew our program,” Howard said. “The members absolutely love her. I am thrilled.”

CATEGORY: Academics