Picker Art Gallery - Staff - Director Anja Chavez Skip Navigation

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Jonathan Ashford
Jonathan Ashford
Museum Security Manager

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Jonathan comes to Colgate from the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) where he held the position of Assistant Director of Security, responsible for all the day-to-day operations and emergency preparedness for museum security. Prior to joining the DIA, Jon served as the Director of Safety for Dwelling Place of Grand Rapids and as an Officer with the Department of Homeland Security. He has been nominated to many exclusive boards including the Region 6 Bioterrorism Network for the State of Michigan and the Metropolitan Medical Response System for the City of Grand Rapids. Jon is a graduate from Grand Valley State University where he received a baccalaureate degree in Political Science and Criminal Justice.

Phone: 315-228-7746  E-mail: jashford@colgate.edu
Anja Chávez
Anja Chávez
Director of University Museums

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With an academic background as an art historian, Chávez holds MA and PhD degrees from the University of Bonn, Germany, and she attended the École Normale Supérieure and the Université de Paris Sorbonne (Paris IV). She has taught and lectured at several American universities and museums and held residencies in Beijing and Taiwan.

Chávez brings a decade of museum experience in liberal arts colleges and universities. During that time, she has consistently involved students and faculty from multiple disciplines in the work of Western and non-Western artists. She has produced high profile, innovative scholarly exhibitions and created partnerships across institutions and communities, at regional, national, and international levels.

Phone: 315-228-6303  E-mail: achavez@colgate.edu
Melissa Davies
Melissa Davies

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Melissa holds an M.A. in education from Claremont Graduate University, a B.A. in art history from University of California, and a B.F.A. in painting from Syracuse University. She is a veteran public school teacher of art, English, and writing. At Colgate University’s Picker Art Gallery and Longyear Museum of Anthropology, she has initiated many visual literacy programs that inspire audiences of all ages. Her own studio practice centers on painting for the theater.

Phone: 315-228-7447  E-mail: mbdavies@colgate.edu
Sarisha Guarneiri
Sarisha Guarneiri

Read About Sarisha

Sarisha Guarneiri has been working at Colgate University’s Picker Art Gallery as the museum registrar since 2011. Ms. Guarneiri joined the Colgate community with her bachelor’s degree in Art History at Nazareth College of Rochester and with her master’s degree in Museum Studies at Syracuse University. She oversees the well-being of the collection by making sure objects are stored in their proper environment, ensures that the locations, conditions and all paperwork are properly documented.

Phone: 315-228-6490  E-mail: sguarneiri@colgate.edu
Aaron Jakos
Aaron Jakos

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Aaron Jakos joins the Picker Art Gallery as preparator, bringing a wealth of museum exhibition and fine art technician experience with him. He has worked on a broad range of exhibitions ranging from Pablo Picasso to James Turrell.

Aaron received his B.A. in Visual Art from the University of Colorado in 2005. Prior to coming to the Picker, he was the exhibition preparator at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center (2007-2013).

Phone: 315-228-7634  E-mail: ajakos@colgate.edu
Tammy Larson
Tammy Larson
Administrative Assistant

Phone: 315-228-6303  E-mail: tlarson@colgate.edu
Jill Shaw
Jill Shaw
Senior Curator of Collections

Read About Jill
The Picker Art Gallery welcomes Dr. Jill Shaw as senior curator of collections. Jill is a specialist in nineteenth- and twentieth-century European art. She was a research associate at the Art Institute of Chicago’s Department of Medieval to Modern European Painting and Sculpture before coming to the Picker Art Gallery. While at the Art Institute, she worked extensively on numerous projects and exhibitions. Most recently, she played an integral role in the Art Institute’s Online Scholarly Catalogue Initiative (OSCI).

Jill graduated from Northwestern University with a B.A. in art history and anthropology and received her M.A. and Ph.D. (2013) in art history from the University of Chicago. Her dissertation focused on the work of French artist Jean Dubuffet in the 1940s.

Phone: 315-228-7317  E-mail: jaeshaw@colgate.edu
Michelle VanAuken
Michelle VanAuken
Visual Resources Assistant Curator
Art & Art History 

Phone: 315-228-7692  E-mail: mvanauken@colgate.edu


The Picker Art Gallery is located on the Colgate University campus, off Lally Lane, on the second floor of the Dana Arts Center. For more information, call 315-228-7634.

Admission is free and the gallery is open to the public.
Mailing Address
Picker Art Gallery, Colgate University
13 Oak Drive
Hamilton, NY, 13346
Gallery Hours
  • Tuesday–Friday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday, noon–5 p.m.
  • Third Thursday of every month, 10 a.m.–8 p.m.
The Picker is closed Mondays and major holidays.**

**The Gallery will be closed November 27 and 28 for the Thanksgiving holiday, and December 20 through January 1st for Winter Break

More Information

For more information about accessibility, please call 315-228-7634 or e-mail us at pickerart@colgate.edu.