In this series, Manager of Visitor and Family Engagement Emily Bray highlights participants in This Is My Day Job: The 2018 James McLaughlin Memorial Staff Show, on view through September 30, 2018.
Tell us about yourself.
Coming from a lifelong love of fantastical stories and music, I share intimate internal narratives in my work, often through the use of whimsical surrealism, abstraction, and sound. I graduated from the George Mason University School of Art in 2017 with a BFA in Art and Visual Technology, concentrating in painting. My work often addresses emotional commonalities, aiming to give viewers the freedom to relate the work to their own experiences, and the ability to consider and relate to that which may be outside of their experience.
What do you do at The Phillips Collection? Are there any unique or interesting parts about your job that most people might not know about?
I am a museum assistant and an admissions associate, which means I get to guard the art, answer visitor questions, sell tickets, and overall do my best to serve as a “face” of The Phillips Collection. Whether I am working in security or at the front desk, I want to provide visitors with a positive experience and show them all the wonderful things that the Phillips has to offer.
Who is your favorite artist in the collection?
Arthur Dove, Frances Bacon, John Henry Twachtman, Jacob Lawrence, Renee Stout, and the list goes on.
What is your favorite space within The Phillips Collection?
Anywhere in the House, especially the foyer and the Music Room.
What would you like people to know about your artwork on view in the 2018 Staff Show (or your work in general)?
In my paintings, I have always been interested in finding ways to straddle the line between precision and fluidity, and I continued working with this idea in my piece Ceasing/Seeking. However, I commonly find myself veering back over to precision in my work, so in the case of this painting, I chose to focus on turning its originally precise linework into something fluid and a little more care-free. I was ceasing to confine myself to precision, and seeking to free myself up and exercise different methods and techniques for my painting. Therefore, I am Ceasing/Seeking.
This Is My Day Job: The James McLaughlin Memorial Staff Show is on view through September 30, 2018. Join us for a reception in the exhibition on September 20, 5-7 pm.