ILNews

The law of art

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Katie Zarich, deputy director of public affairs for the Indianapolis Museum of Art, had worked for the IMA for a year when she decided to go to law school. She applied only to Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis, knowing that she wanted to continue working for the museum as she attended class at night.

“There’s no better time to go to law school than when you’re young and don’t have other obligations,” she said.

Zarich, 29, completed her law degree and passed the bar last year, assuming the role of legal counsel for the IMA while continuing to promote the museum in her role in public affairs.
 

zarich_katie-15col.jpg Katie Zarich poses for a photo in front of Anthony van Dyck’s “Entry of Christ into Jerusalem,” in the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s European galleries. (IL Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

It is possible the museum has at some point in the past 127 years had an attorney on staff, but Zarich said she could not recall one in recent history. IMA’s former chief financial officer handled legal affairs, and when she left Zarich was tapped for the job.

“Max asked me if I would take on being our point person,” Zarich said of IMA Director Maxwell Anderson. At the time, Zarich hadn’t finished law school or passed the bar, so she was nervous about accomplishing those two tasks.

The IMA, she said, houses more than 54,000 works of art. The museum enters into agreements with other museums for purposes of borrowing or lending art or for scheduling traveling exhibitions.

“I can’t take credit for preparing all the contracts, but I review them,” she said. “I have drafted and prepared a good number of them myself, particularly if they are unusual in any way. Our registration department and our curators are heavily involved in this process, too.”

Zarich also helps staff interpret complicated paperwork, like bequeaths from donors.

“One thing that I run into the most is finding out that a donor has passed away, and helping someone on our staff interpret an agreement that may have been written a long time ago,” she said.

As general counsel, she also tries to anticipate legal problems before they occur.

“I often am thinking of the worst-case scenario; people run a lot of things by me: ‘Should we be concerned? Should we develop a policy on this matter?’” she said.

The museum receives many requests for use of images from its collections, from “scholarly publications, catalogs, greeting cards – everything you can think of,” Zarich said. The Rights and Reproductions Department is generally able to handle those requests independently, she said, and added it would be nearly impossible to police Facebook or other venues for violations of the museum’s reproduction policies.

“We are most concerned about commercial uses, and there have been times when we’ve had to intervene because somebody was reproducing artwork that they didn’t have permission to use,” Zarich said. On the rare occasion litigation becomes necessary, the museum enlists the help of outside attorneys with expertise in certain areas.

Zarich has been actively involved in promoting the museum through public policy, using some of the skills she learned in John L. Krauss’s public policy mediation course. Krauss, adjunct law professor and director of IU’s Public Policy Institute, became acquainted with Zarich when he served on the IMA’s board of governors.

“She’s got a wide portfolio of things – of making constituencies aware of the museum, through public relations, through liaisons, through a variety of groups,” Krauss said. “I think one of the challenges that we saw is that the days of expecting government or business or not-for-profit to support an institution no matter how good it is … I think are long gone. I think what you have to do is you have to make people aware of what the opportunities are to invest and partner with the museum.”

Zarich also assists the IMA’s retail director, Jenny Geiger, with the sometimes-complex agreements that allow the IMA to license retail items that are based on an artist’s work. Recently, the museum arranged an agreement that allowed the IMA to adapt designs by Alexander Girard – interior designer for the IMA’s Miller House in Columbus, Ind. – for use in household items. Throw pillows based on Girard’s textile prints sell online for about $95 each. And Zarich said the museum is expanding its retail efforts, so she anticipates working on more projects with Geiger.

By far, the most popular retail item offered by the IMA is a small-scale version of Robert Indiana’s LOVE sculpture, which Zarich recently saw in the gift shop of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Kimberly Harms, who was the director of the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association’s PR Council when she met Zarich about five years ago, said Zarich embodies the perfect combination of ambition and humility.

“I think it’s incredible that you have someone who constantly aspires to be better in everything she does,” Harms said. “She’s a very smart person, but she doesn’t patronize others, and she is just very friendly and outgoing.”

Krauss, too, spoke about Zarich’s skills relating to other people.

“To be a good mediator, you’ve got to be curious,” he said. “You also have to know how to listen, and with those tools, if you can have a third tool of knowing how to frame issues in the conversation so that you can invite someone to participate in the conversation and they feel comfortable in doing that … I think all three of those things make a good mediator, and I’ve seen them exhibited with Katie.”

Zarich is an avid cyclist and is proud of the fact that during her junior year at IU, she was on the winning Little 500 team.

“She’s an accomplished athlete, a PR person, an attorney – she doesn’t do anything half-hearted,” Harms said. “Everything is full-speed ahead with attention to detail and enthusiasm, so you can’t help to be excited when she’s excited.”•

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Indiana State Bar Association

Indianapolis Bar Association

Evansville Bar Association

Allen County Bar Association

Indiana Lawyer on Facebook

facebook
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. All the lawyers involved in this don't add up to a hill of beans; mostly yes-men punching their tickets for future advancement. REMF types. Window dressing. Who in this mess was a real hero? the whistleblower that let the public know about the torture, whom the US sent to Jail. John Kyriakou. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/26/us/ex-officer-for-cia-is-sentenced-in-leak-case.html?_r=0 Now, considering that Torture is Illegal, considering that during Vietnam a soldier was court-martialed and imprisoned for waterboarding, why has the whistleblower gone to jail but none of the torturers have been held to account? It's amazing that Uncle Sam's sunk lower than Vietnam. But that's where we're at. An even more unjust and pointless war conducted in an even more bogus manner. this from npr: "On Jan. 21, 1968, The Washington Post ran a front-page photo of a U.S. soldier supervising the waterboarding of a captured North Vietnamese soldier. The caption said the technique induced "a flooding sense of suffocation and drowning, meant to make him talk." The picture led to an Army investigation and, two months later, the court martial of the soldier." Today, the US itself has become lawless.

  2. "Brain Damage" alright.... The lunatic is on the grass/ The lunatic is on the grass/ Remembering games and daisy chains and laughs/ Got to keep the loonies on the path.... The lunatic is in the hall/ The lunatics are in my hall/ The paper holds their folded faces to the floor/ And every day the paper boy brings more/ And if the dam breaks open many years too soon/ And if there is no room upon the hill/ And if your head explodes with dark forbodings too/ I'll see you on the dark side of the moon!!!

  3. It is amazing how selectively courts can read cases and how two very similar factpatterns can result in quite different renderings. I cited this very same argument in Brown v. Bowman, lost. I guess it is panel, panel, panel when one is on appeal. Sad thing is, I had Sykes. Same argument, she went the opposite. Her Rooker-Feldman jurisprudence is now decidedly unintelligible.

  4. November, 2014, I was charged with OWI/Endangering a person. I was not given a Breathalyzer test and the arresting officer did not believe that alcohol was in any way involved. I was self-overmedicated with prescription medications. I was taken to local hospital for blood draw to be sent to State Tox Lab. My attorney gave me a cookie-cutter plea which amounts to an ALCOHOL-related charge. Totally unacceptable!! HOW can I get my TOX report from the state lab???

  5. My mother got temporary guardianship of my children in 2012. my husband and I got divorced 2015 the judge ordered me to have full custody of all my children. Does this mean the temporary guardianship is over? I'm confused because my divorce papers say I have custody and he gets visits and i get to claim the kids every year on my taxes. So just wondered since I have in black and white that I have custody if I can go get my kids from my moms and not go to jail?

ADVERTISEMENT