Staff Show 2016: Kristen Calcaterra

In this series, Education Specialist for Public Programs Emily Bray highlights participants in the 2016 James McLaughlin Memorial Staff Show, on view through September 19, 2016.

Kristen Calcaterra, "Steve Zissou"

Kristen Calcaterra, “Portrait of Steven”

 

Kristen Calcaterra

Kristen Calcaterra, Photo: Rhiannon Newman

Kristen Calcaterra, Photo: Rhiannon Newman

After receiving her BFA from RISD in 2011, Kristen Calcaterra moved back to Northern Virginia where she currently resides.  She is very influenced by local historic homes.  Her personal body of work centers on the presence of violence, disease, and unfortunate living conditions in an otherwise beautifully and meticulously crafted home.  In addition to working at The Phillips Collection, Calcaterra teachesg Portfolio Preparation to high school students anticipating a career in the pursuit of fine art.

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

I am an Admissions Supervisor at The Phillips Collection.  I really like to think that I help to represent the collection to the public.  I’m the first person that most visitors see when they walk in, and it’s important to me that their first impression of our museum is a pleasant one.  I think it sets the mood for their entire experience.

Who are your favorite artists in the collection?

I absolutely love Pierre Bonnard.  His sense of color is phenomenal and I just love the way that so much of his work with color reminds me of Claude Monet‘s work in the 1890s.  I feel that Bonnard is sometimes overlooked, but with our wonderful collection it’s truly hard to miss him!

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

The Music Room is just stunning.  A lot of my personal work has to do with architecture of older buildings, so really I love all of the spaces in the original house.  They’re so intimate; it’s like being welcomed into someone’s home with all this gorgeous artwork everywhere.

What would you like people to know about your artwork on view in the 2016 Staff Show (or your work in general)?

I’ve just gotten back into working with the figure.  Since graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2011 with a BFA in Painting, all of my work has been non-figurative.  I typically work with the concept of the ornamented interior and the deconstruction of it’s, let’s say, perfection.  I’m excited to soon reincorporate the figure into my personal body of work.  This piece really helped me regain my footing when it comes to representing people, and I hope it will strengthen my upcoming works.

Find more work by Calcaterra on her website.

The 2016 James McLaughlin Memorial Staff Show will be on view August 16 through September 19, 2016. The show features artwork from the Phillips Collection staff.

Staff Show 2016: Christy Conrad

In this series, Education Specialist for Public Programs Emily Bray highlights participants in the 2016 James McLaughlin Memorial Staff Show, on view through September 19, 2016.

Christy Conrad, "Satsumas"

Christy Conrad, “Satsumas”

 

Christy Conrad

Christy Conrad, Photo: Rhiannon Newman

Tell us about yourself.

I grew up in rural Pendleton County, West Virginia. In 2011, I graduated with my BFA from Shepherd University. I moved to the Washington, DC area several years ago and enjoy living here. I’ve been with The Phillips Collection for over a year. When I’m not at the museum, I’m working at my other job at Gold Leaf Studios, a company that does fabrication, conservation, and gilding of frames and architectural elements.

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

I am a Museum Assistant and part-time Supervisor with The Phillips Collection. One unique aspect to working in the Security Department is that I get to interact with colleagues from every department in the institution. This is a great way to gain an understanding of how a museum operates and help build a community among the many departments it takes to make this museum successful. Being a member of the Security staff allows me to help both visitors and colleagues enjoy their time at the Phillips through service.

Who are your favorite artists in the collection?

Jacob Lawrence is one of my favorite artists in the collection. Nearly every time I’ve been posted in the gallery featuring The Migration Series, I’ve had meaningful and educational interactions with visitors. I believe his work is as critical and relevant now as it was when he created it.

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

My favorite space in the museum is the West Parlor on the first floor of the house. It has such a cozy feel to it and gets the most amazing dappled sunlight throughout the day.

What would you like people to know about your artwork on view in the 2016 Staff Show (or your work in general)?

I have been doing hand embroidery for years. I love that it’s such a forgiving medium and there are really no mistakes! It’s a lot like painting in that, depending on technique, it can look very precise and calculated or quite gestural, like brushstrokes. The piece I currently have on view in the staff show, Satsumas, is the first time I’ve tried to make embroidery look three-dimensional with shadows and highlights. It was really an exercise more than anything else. I also constructed the frame for this piece.

The 2016 James McLaughlin Memorial Staff Show is on view August 14 through September 19, 2016.

Staff Show 2016: Elizabeth Sampson

In this series, Education Specialist for Public Programs Emily Bray highlights participants in the 2016 James McLaughlin Memorial Staff Show, on view through September 19, 2016.

Elizabeth Sampson, "Peshawar Series: Gulmeena and Spina"

Elizabeth Sampson, “Peshawar Series: Gulmeena and Spina”

Elizabeth Sampson

Elizabeth Sampson, Photo: Rhiannon Newman

Elizabeth Sampson, Photo: Rhiannon Newman

Tell us about yourself and your work.

As an artist who grew up in Peshawar, Pakistan I find myself affected by current events and social issues that are consuming that area of the world. Pakistan today is a changing country. At times, its people are being overtaken by disasters both natural and unnatural. Suicide bombs. Drone attacks. Floods. The daily tragedies of Pakistan haunt my work as I turn from the past and am shaken by the present. I paint in response to the violent and tragic events occurring in my home. This work reflects my narrative as a multi-national artist caught in the crossfire between the East and the West.

What do you do at The Phillips Collection?

I am a School Programs Educator.

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

Jacob Lawrence. I think the struggle and determination of people in transition shown through The Migration Series resonates so strongly throughout the globe.

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

I enjoy the “Klee” corner.

What would you like people to know about your artwork on view in the 2016 Staff Show (or your work in general)?

This work is a reference to my childhood in Pakistan. I was inspired by Pakistani miniature paintings of myths and sagas, and created my own scenes of memories of my home country.

Find more of Sampson’s work on her website.

The 2016 James McLaughlin Memorial Staff Show will be on view August 16 through September 19, 2016. The show features artwork from the Phillips Collection staff.