When did you start working at the i.d.e.a. Museum and what is your role here?
I started working at the museum fresh out of college when it was still the Arizona Museum for Youth in 2011. When I began working here, my first-born child was only one and he’s now nine years old. It’s been neat to watch my children use the museum differently as they grow, which has helped me think critically in my role as a Museum Education Assistant when developing and implementing programs and activities.
Share some of your responsibilities in your role.
In my role working in the education department I have two major focus areas. I manage and develop our public programs including our workshops, Girl Scouts, birthday party program and Family Days. I’m also a part of the exhibition design team where I have the great privilege of developing educational content for the exhibits, interactives, art activities, and the guided tours.
What do you love most about working at the i.d.e.a. Museum and the work you do?
It’s hard to say what I love most about the museum, from the ambitious ideas and goals within the team, support from the community and uniqueness of our mission and space, it’s an overall exciting organization to be a part of. I am truly passionate about the work I do here to inspire a curiosity for learning in children, creating experiences for families to learn together, and providing inviting opportunities for young ones to experience arts and culture.
My favorite work here is creating interactives and games for the exhibits. I love the challenge of turning educational information into a game and watching kids have fun learning. For instance, the Sonoran Safari exhibit had a floor game I developed on the safety and etiquette of hiking. I also love incorporating related careers to each exhibit to show kids how fun STEM careers can be. You’ll see this featured in our upcoming Spring exhibit, Junkyard Jungle in the Jr. Scientists Lab.
What is your all-time favorite i.d.e.a. Museum exhibit?
I’d have to say my favorite exhibit so far has been Once Upon a Time… Any exhibit that allows your imagination to run wild are the most fun, in my opinion.
When you’re not at the museum, you are…
My family just purchased a 15-passenger van that we’ve been converting into a campervan to take on trips, mountain biking, rock climbing, kayaking and kitesurfing. When I’m not outside I enjoy supporting the arts by visiting local museums, the Phoenix Symphony, Gammage, Ballet Arizona and Arizona Opera.
What is your favorite piece or art or who is your favorite artist and why?
If you came to my house, you may find yourself confused by my preference in artwork which has been called, “eclectic.” As someone who studied art history, it is hard to choose a favorite artist or artwork. I love artwork from the Dutch Golden Age because of the vibrant colors and the meanings subtly depicted in clues throughout the composition, like those of Vermeer’s. I’m also very fond of Medieval and Renaissance Christian artwork because of the stories they tell, I especially like to compare how the various artists have depicted the Last Supper. My artwork interested expands eastward as well to Buddhist artwork and Asian earthenware. I like to collect teapots, my most prized is a Yixing teapot.
This past fall I was visiting the National Gallery of Art in London and walked into a small dark room with monumental pieces by Leonardo da Vinci hung and spot lit on the walls which took my breath away reminding me of his quote, “Learning never exhausts the mind,” and that is what I strive to do everyday – to give our children a thirst for knowledge and inspire them to think outside of the box and learn in new ways. So, I guess if I had to choose right now, I’d say da Vinci is my favorite artist.