In our Summer Q&A series, we profile members of the McNay staff to show a behind-the-scenes look at all the people who make the McNay what it is! Today’s post features Hilary Schroeder, our 2016-2017 Semmes Foundation Intern in Museum Studies.
What is your role at the McNay? Walk us through a typical work day in your shoes.
I am the 2016-2017 Semmes Foundation Intern in Museum Studies, which is an exciting ten-month position open to emerging museum professionals who have recently completed a Master’s degree in art history or a related field. I work primarily with René Paul Barilleaux, Head of Curatorial Affairs, but I also get to explore other departments in the Museum, including Education, Development, and Collections. There is no typical day for me (or for anyone else who works at a museum, I think!), but my days often involve preparing for upcoming exhibitions, going on studio and gallery visits, attending lectures, and researching and writing. I especially enjoy assisting with Education programming and seeing kids and adults alike get excited about art. My biggest project at the McNay has been co-organizing with René Paul Barilleaux our Fall 2017 exhibition, Chuck Ramirez: All This and Heaven Too. The only thing that I know I do every single day is learn something new, whether about art, what it means to work in a museum, or how the McNay serves its community.
What do you like to do outside of work? What are your favorite things to do and places to go in San Antonio?
I take trapeze and fabrics classes at Aerial Horizon, where I can express my creative side through aerial dance and get in some great exercise at the same time. I also like to attend the monthly Improv Jam hosted by the San Antonio Dance Umbrella. Sometimes I take on kitchen experiments like making my own soup stock or baking a new bread. I love going for a drink and a snack at the Esquire down on the River Walk, hanging out at the Pearl, and exploring all the wonderful museums and historic sites here in San Antonio.
What has been your favorite exhibition at the McNay so far? Tell us why.
Telling Tales: Contemporary Narrative Photography has been my favorite exhibition during my short time at the McNay. I loved the rich details of the photographs and how, on each visit to the Tobin Exhibition Galleries, the works would reveal new stories and layers I had not seen previously. The content of the exhibition was lyrical and mysterious. But I think Chuck Ramirez: All This and Heaven Too may move to the top spot, in part because of working with the exhibition from start to finish and my love for Ramirez’s work!
What is one thing about the McNay you wish everyone knew?
The McNay grounds are free and open to the public year-round! They are an awesome place to bring a picnic or hang out while enjoying nature and contemplating the McNay’s outdoor sculpture collection. The entire McNay campus serves as a place for communities to gather, and I’m especially looking forward to a special series of the San Antonio Dance Umbrella’s Improv Jams taking place on the McNay grounds – for free! – this August through November.