Volunteer Spotlight: Jenna Chen

In this series, Manager of Visitor and Family Engagement Emily Bray profiles volunteers within the museum. Phillips volunteers are an integral part of the museum and help in many ways: greeting and guiding guests through the museum, helping with Sunday Concerts, assisting patrons in the library, helping out with Phillips after 5 and special events, and so much more. Our volunteers offer a wealth of expertise and experience to the museum, and we are delighted to highlight several them.

Jenna Chen, Art Information Volunteer

Jenna Chen

What year did you start volunteering for The Phillips Collection?

I started volunteering the summer of 2017.

 

What do you see as the most valuable aspect of your volunteering?

My favorite part of interacting with visitors is seeing how eager they are to share their previous experiences at art museums and the reasons why they are at the Phillips. Seeing how excited first time visitors are to stand in front of Renoir’s Luncheon of the Boating Party enhances my volunteer experience. Volunteering at the Phillips is a wonderful opportunity to surround myself with art lovers.

 

What do you do when you are not volunteering at the Phillips?

As a biology and art history student at Georgetown University, I spend a decent amount of time in the library preparing for class. During my free time, I enjoy hiking and exploring DC with friends.

 

What is your favorite room or painting here?

My favorite painting here is Succession by Wassily Kandinsky. I just read Kandinsky’s book Concerning the Spiritual in Art, so I now understand his abstract art on a new level. I am still puzzled, yet fascinated by Succession. There is not a time that I walked by the painting without stopping to stare at it.

 

If you had to choose one word to describe The Phillips Collection, what would it be?

Intimate.

 

Share a fun fact about you!

Last semester, I studied abroad in London and took full advantage of the city’s free museums. I constantly lost track of time when wandering through the National Gallery, V&A, Wallace Collection, and Tate Modern. As an extroverted person, I found it surprising how comfortable I felt alone in these museums. I actually strongly prefer to visit art museums without others, and those are the only places where I like to be by myself.

 

Is there anything else that you would like to share?

Volunteering at The Phillips Collection confirmed that I am happiest when surrounded by art. I am now even more determined to pursue a career in art museums!

Volunteer Spotlight: Mallory Verez

In this series, Education Specialist Emily Bray profiles volunteers within the museum. Phillips volunteers are an integral part of the museum and help in many ways: greeting and guiding guests through the museum, helping with Sunday Concerts, assisting patrons in the library, helping out with Phillips after 5 and special events, and so much more. Our volunteers offer a wealth of expertise and experience to the museum, and we are delighted to highlight several them.

Mallory Verez, Art Information Volunteer

Mallory Verez

What year did you start volunteering at The Phillips Collection?

I started volunteering in June 2017.

 

What do you see as the most valuable aspect of your volunteering?

I want each visitor to be able to leave with something, be that a newfound appreciation or knowledge. Sharing the history of The Phillips Collection and leading visitors to pieces they might like is so exciting. My favorite part is when visitors share their perspectives and understanding with me in return.


What do you do when you are not volunteering at The Phillips Collection?

I’m a full time undergraduate student, studying psychology, and an intern at Joy of Motion Dance Center, a non-profit organization devoted to making dance education and performance available to everyone. Being a part of that organization has been nothing short of incredible.


What is your favorite room or painting here?

My favorite room is easily the Rothko room; I feel like I could spend hours in there. My favorite pieces right now are any by Willem De Kooning.


If you had to choose one word to describe the Phillips, what would it be?

Encompassing.


Share a fun fact about you!

I recently got a shepherd-husky mix puppy, an absolute treasure, whom I named Mojo. She enjoys invading personal space and looking at herself in the mirror.

 

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I am eternally grateful to The Phillips Collection for letting me spend time engaging with visitors and the art, and for opening my eyes to the possibility of a future in museum work.

Staff Show 2017: Mark Westman

In this series, Manager of Visitor and Family Engagement Emily Bray highlights participants in the 2017 James McLaughlin Memorial Staff Show, on view through September 17, 2017.

Mark Westman, Mugshot 2016

Mark Westman

What do you do at The Phillips Collection?

Gallery Educator and Art Information Volunteer.

Who are your favorite artists in the collection?

Marsden Hartley, Arthur Dove, Herman Maril, and John Marin.

What is your favorite space within The Phillips Collection?

First floor galleries facing Q Street in the Phillips House.

What would you like people to know about your artwork on view in the 2017 Staff Show (or your work in general)?

Almost exclusively portraiture. I am drawn to faces that appear slightly disturbed (or disturbing). I do not consider myself to be an artist but I am working to become a painter.

The 2017 James McLaughlin Memorial Staff Show is on view August 3 through September 17, 2017.