Staff Show 2012: Keshia Pace

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

Keshia Pace. Untitled, 2012. Digital print

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

I am a museum assistant, a.k.a. one who protects the museum’s artwork. I’ve found that most visitors don’t realize is that I, along with most of my fellow assistants, have backgrounds in the arts, and that we are not volunteers.

Who is/are your favorite artist/artists in the collection?

My current favorite is Morris Louis. I didn’t know as much about him before I started working here; I now think he’s one of the more underrated artists featured in the museum.

What is your favorite gallery/space within The Phillips Collection?

The Music Room, mainly because it’s the most dramatic space in the museum.

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 am a graphic designer, not a painter like many of my fellow museum assistants. As such, my work is usually computer generated and tends to be more geometric. Most of my work is used for posters, brochures, calendars, logos, and the like; this is one of the few times I created something for it’s own sake, and I’m pleased it turned out so well.

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

Staff Show 2012: Ellen Stedtefeld

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

Gallery Educator Ellen Stedtefeld is a triple threat: art historian, art educator, and artist. She is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, and has worked at several art museums and schools in the midwest and east coast. Stedtefeld is currently the middle school visual arts specialist at Capital City Public Charter School.

Ellen Stedtefeld with her work, Loss, 2012. Photo courtesy: Ellen Stedtefeld.

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

I am a gallery educator. The best part of my job is the people I meet while giving tours. I’ve met international curators, artists, students, collectors, and tourists from all over the world. Having a diverse tour often leads to thought-provoking conversations about art. Often times it is the amateur art enthusiast who will help us all discover an exciting new insight.

Who is/are your favorite artist/artists in the collection? What is your favorite gallery/space within The Phillips Collection?

Over the past three years I have learned to love many places and artists at the Phillips. However, more than any favorite space or artist, I most enjoy the curatorial approach of the Phillips. Galleries are constantly changing, allowing for a variety of works to be displayed and new relationships to be discovered. No two trips to the Phillips are the same.

Ellen Stedtefeld. Loss, 2012. Mixed media.

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?

This is the final artwork in a series inspired by my work with incarcerated youth in D.C. The series consists of five works of similar size featuring a bold object in permanent marker on top of a collage background. Each work is meant to convey a sense of beauty, isolation, and despair. The title Loss is intentionally open ended, allowing the viewer to consider what has been lost. I was initially hesitant to put a macabre work in the staff show until I discovered a few “congenial spirits” within the Collection such as Dead Bird (1890s) by Albert Pinkham Ryder and Dead Crow (c. 1943) by Henry Varnum Poor.

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

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