Three questions with LaGrange Art Museum director Megan Johnston

From the Twin Cities to the Big Apple to Ireland, art has taken LaGrange Art Museum Director Megan Johnston around the world. Her career path took her from her home in Minneapolis to New York City and then to Dublin and Belfast. Johnston, married to an Irishman and the mother of two, moved to the area from Europe in December.

What brought you to this area?

I was working in museums and galleries in Ireland and really wanted to come back to the States. I thought it was time for me to come back. I wanted to raise my kids in America and started looking for jobs. What was really important is that we could get back to Europe pretty easily.

Where I was working in Ireland was Craigavon, which is the sister city to LaGrange. There was a big sister city conference in Belfast so they all came over from LaGrange. They said, “Oh, you would love the LaGrange Art Museum,” and so I Googled it and found out they were looking for a director. I just loved it. So I came here for the job.

What do you like best about living here?

We moved for an outdoor life and kind of a small-town life. We were living in Belfast, and that’s what I really like about this place. I’m excited about the potential and in a small town the role arts can play.

What advice would you give to somebody moving here?

We’ve only been here for three months so I can take advice as much as I can give it. I think after leaving Minneapolis and New York and Dublin and Belfast, I think I would just embrace this kind of lifestyle change. It’s slower, but it’s a nice slower. I embrace the outdoors, Callaway Gardens and the lake. It’s just amazing. I would join something. I would volunteer because there’s so many different groups here, whether it’s a church group or a civic group. I think that’s the best way to meet people and that’s the way I’ve been meeting people.