Staff Show 2016: Mike Guy

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.

MIke Guy, "Tunnel Vision"

MIke Guy, “Tunnel Vision”


Mike Guy

Mike Guy, Photo: Rhiannon Newman

Mike Guy, Photo: Rhiannon Newman

Mike Guy is an artist who has been active across the DC area. He received formal training from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, studying fiber arts under Fyuko Matsubara, with a focus in silk painting and printmaking. Since then, he has exhibited in galleries across DC, Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. He has also done large-scale mural projects for schools and businesses in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Mike has independently created pieces for companies including DC Vote, WeWork, Ted X, and the National Academy of Sciences.

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 Supervisor. The most interesting part is being able to walk through the museum first thing in the morning when all the lights are off. It’s always nice to have the first thing in your day be seeing some great art.

Who are your favorite artists in the collection?

Top three are Kandinsky, van Gogh, and Tack.

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

I am partial to the mural on the back wall of the courtyard in the alley (by four artists from Senegal) since I was the lead assistant for it.

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

This painting is from my series of silk paintings Dormant. Each painting consists of one single line, which is quickly created on the silk. The nature of this method makes it so that you can’t go back and edit or erase lines after they have been laid out. I then go into the painting and add layers of color while reflecting on the initial movement in an attempt to find a balance. Each painting is a portrait, but instead of focusing on just the person, I blend them into their environment.

Find more of Guy’s artwork on his website.

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

The Making of Diocco (Contact)

See behind the scenes of the making of Diocco, an original mural painted for the Phillips by Senegalese artists Muhsana Ali, Fodé Camara, Viyé Diba, and Piniang (Ibrahima Niang). Of the process, Muhsana Ali says, “we started feeding off of each other’s ideas and energy, and the idea of this collaboration between—or relationship between—the United States and Africa started coming through in many different ways.”

Making a Mural For The Phillips

mural 1

Artist Piniang (Ibrahima Niang) on day one of the five day mural painting process. Note the smaller-scale diagram of the finished mural at bottom left; the artists used a grid system to transfer an outline onto the wall. All photos courtesy The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC

Four mural artists completed an original work on the back courtyard wall of The Phillips Collection in late October. Muhsana Ali, Fodé Camara, Viyé Diba, and Piniang (Ibrahima Niang) were part of a larger group of painters that created a mural at the US Embassy in Dakar in May 2014. The Senegalese artists traveled here as part of a cultural exchange organized by the State Department’s ART in Embassies program. Huge thanks to generous supporters Toni A. Ritzenberg, Millennium Arts Salon, CulturalDC, International Arts and Artists, and the Cameroon American Council.

mural 2

Hard at work on days one and two of painting.

mural 3

About halfway done on day 3!

mural 4

Lots of paint from Farrow & Ball.

mural 5

The completed mural.

mural 6

The artists in front of their completed work. Left to right: Fodé Camara, Muhsana Ali, Viyé Diba, and Piniang (Ibrahima Niang)