Staff Show 2019: Genevieve Martinez

In this series, we highlight participants in This Is My Day Job: The 2019 James McLaughlin Memorial Staff Show, on view through September 29, 2019.

Genevieve Martinez

Tell us about yourself?
I am a local artist from Washington, DC. I obtained my double BA in studio art and photography in 2018. In my free time I enjoy Ted-Ed videos and creating artwork. My passion for art began at age five, any surface became my canvas, including the walls at home.

What do you do at The Phillips Collection? What are some unique or interesting parts of your job?
I perform the role of Museum Assistant at The Phillips Collection. I ensure the security of art and visitors of the museum. A unique aspect of my job is being around classic art. Also the stories shared to me by visitors.

What is your favorite artwork? Why?
It’s difficult to narrow down to a single favorite, but if I had to decide on one, it would be the Migration Series by Jacob Lawrence simply for the design aspect and historical purpose.

What do you like to listen to when you’re creating your art?
Lo-fi Hip hop, Jazz, and R&B

Genevieve Martinez, Form of Woman, June 2019, Acrylic gouache, charcoal and ebony pencils

Genevieve Martinez, Form of Woman, June 2019, Acrylic gouache, charcoal, and ebony pencils

What would you like people to know about your artwork on view in the 2019 Staff Show (or your work in general)?
As an artist, it’s my duty to capture everyday experiences then transform them into art. Form of Woman is a statement on the individuality of women. Women come in all shapes and sizes. More importantly, they are all Individuals. Many social norms and political issues attempt to outline the individuality of women.

The Artist Sees Differently: Darci Vanderhoff

Darci Vanderhoff, Chief Information Officer, on the mic

Darci Vanderhoff, Chief Information Officer, on the mic! Photo: Joshua Navarro

DARCI VANDERHOFF, Chief Information Officer

How did you learn about the Phillips?

I originally came to Phillips exhibitions as an art enthusiast. One of my favorite shows was Impressionists in Winter in 1998. I didn’t even mind the long lines (once I got inside). Several years later, I came to sell the Phillips on the idea of online ticketing. Then, in 2001, I applied for the IT Director position when it became available at the museum.

You formerly worked as a writer, you’re a musician in a band. Do you feel you are inspired by the Phillips art? 

I worked at the editorial desk of the Washington office of the Wall Street Journal for a number of years, and then left to freelance in both writing and photography. I was published locally as well as in Dallas, Detroit, and other cities. I did research for Judy Woodruff’s book This is Judy Woodruff at the White HouseRadcliffe College’s Arthur Schlesinger Library (a women’s archive) holds a collection of my articles and photographs. I eventually became a music critic, and at the suggestion of musician friends, I decided to attend music school myself. It was a radical idea to me, so I took to it immediately. After getting my feet wet in a local music school for a year, I enrolled at Berklee College of Music in the mid-1980s with a scholarship.

I am a musician. I primarily sing but also write. My degree is in songwriting. I am one of thirteen in the local band Cleve Francis and Friends. We routinely play at The Birchmere in Alexandra, Virginia, and at local benefits. We released a CD, Storytime: Live at the Birchmere, in 2009. In addition to singing, I am the “administrator” of the group: setting rehearsal schedules, digitally recording rehearsals, distributing recordings, managing databases, etc., which is where my digital skill-set comes in handy. I am the only woman in the group. Go figure. I recently joined a smaller group doing more instrumental music across a wide spectrum of genres. Instrumentation includes keyboards, guitar, upright bass, and vocals (three of us sing). I’m having fun doing lead vocals again.

Yes, I am inspired by the art at the Phillips, and even more by the artists who work here. Most of my coworkers are brilliantly creative people.

Do you listen to anything as you do your artwork?

My “artwork” is primarily music. I listen to a lot of music during my work commute, but I also use that time to prep for shows. The rehearsing could be considered a driving distraction, I guess, but it’s been a part of my commute for some time, so I think I balance the two well. Don’t tell anyone.

Who’s your favorite artist in the collection?

I am very fond of Claude Monet, Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward Hopper, Jacob Lawrence, Paul Dougherty, Childe Hassam, Gustave Courbet, and our growing photography collections.                   

Do you collect other artwork – or anything?

I collect a few things:  I have a striped beach rock collection, mostly from Plum Island in Massachusetts where I strolled often while going to school. I have a Washington Nationals bobble-head collection that is in need of attention. I also collect art. One of my favorite acquisitions was purchased from one of the Phillips museum assistants in a staff show: a colorful photograph of multiple faucet handles from an abandoned steel mill in Pittsburgh. Clearly, I trend toward water themes.

 And do you have a favorite Marjorie Phillips painting?

I like Nuns on the Roof, too.

Hear Darci’s song, “Every Little Bit”

-Rolf Rykken


The Artist Sees Differently: Rolf Rykken

In this special edition of The Artist Sees Differently, contributor Paul Ruther turns the tables on the column’s creator Rolf Rykken, who is himself an artist on staff. 

Rolf Rykken, Museum Assistant

Photo of Rolf with Sammie, his "doggie daughter" and muse. Photo: Sarah Osborne Bender

Rolf with Sammie, his “doggie daughter” and muse. Photo: Sarah Osborne Bender

Where did you get the idea to interview Phillips Collection employees about their artistic practice and ideas?

It was Sarah’s [Osborne Bender]  idea. I liked it and thought it was both fun and funny. It was my idea to ask everyone what their favorite Marjorie Phillips painting is. Not everyone knows who she is.

Do you feel you are inspired by the Phillips art?

Yes. When I was in the MFA program at University of Maryland, one of the professors said I was “Too much under the influence of The Phillips Collection,” as if that was a bad thing.  Also being here influenced me to take art classes, and I eventually got into the Corcoran College of Art and Design, graduating with a BFA in 1997.

I remember when I first came here in junior high school,  I was amazed and impressed by the place. It was just the house then. But it’s the first museum I remember visiting.

What do you listen to as you create?

Mixes from my iPod touch, mostly alt-rock from the ’90s. I like female rock bands. Lately I’ve been listening to a band named Screaming Females, which is funny because it’s only one woman, Marissa Paternoster, but she makes enough noise for a whole band. I saw her and the band at the Black Cat recently.

Who’s your favorite artist in the collection?

Oh it’s Bonnard, and my favorite work of his is Open Window. I also like The Palm because someone once made me a present of the painting with my dog Shelby transposed over the lady in the painting. Bonnard’s model for this work was his wife Marthe.

Rolf Rykken, Family in the Park, 1998. Oil on wood, 24" x 24 1/2"

Rolf Rykken, Family in the Park, 1998. Oil on wood, 24″ x 24 1/2″

Do you collect other artwork – or anything?

I have works by Jake Muirhead, who used to work here, now teaches at Montgomery College. I want a Suzanne Koch and I own some works by Ianthe Gergel.

And do you have a favorite Marjorie Phillips painting?

Nuns on the Roof. I also did a version called Dogs on the Roof once.