Staff Show 2012: Phoebe O’Dell

In this series, Young Artists Exhibitions Program Coordinator Jenna Kowalke-Jones profiles participants in the 2012 James McLaughlin Memorial Staff Show.

Phoebe and her work, Can Ya Dig It? Photo courtesy: Phoebe O’Dell

What do you do at The Phillips Collection? Are there any unique parts about your job that most people might not know about?

I’m a museum assistant! We don’t just stand around all day, contrary to popular belief! We answer questions and talk to some pretty interesting people from all around the world too.

Who is/are your favorite artist/artists in the collection?
My absolute favorites in the collection are Arthur Dove and Morris Louis. Right now, I definitely dig the [Harry] Callahan photography!

What is your favorite gallery/space within The Phillips Collection?
I like the contemporary sculpture pieces (Caro, Graves, Calder) currently on view on the second floor of the house. That room has some great pieces, and I love the intimate room right next door. Klaus did a great job curating that gallery.

What would you like people to know about your artwork on view in the 2012 James McLaughlin Memorial Staff Show and your work in general?

I’m very interested in ordinary objects, even random subject matters. I appreciate a sense of unique space, and my pieces tend to capture an unusual balance. I paint, mostly; however, lately I’ve been working on earthworks and small installations. I love the process and getting my hands dirty, literally!

Anything else you’d like to add?

I plan on buying myself a nice (possibly old?) 35mm camera soon and taking pictures of my earthworks. They’re ephemeral so I’d like to capture a sense of their life while I can.

The 2012 James McLaughlin Memorial Staff Show is on view September 4-October 9, 2012.  Please join us for the reception on September 27, 5:30-8 pm. This year’s show features 35 artworks, of various media, all by Phillips Collection staff.

Jenna Kowalke-Jones, Young Artists Exhibitions Program Coordinator

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