The McNay Welcomes Dr. R. Scott Blackshire as New Curator of the Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts

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The McNay Art Museum Welcomes Dr. R. Scott Blackshire as New Curator of the Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts

Third Curator of the Renowned Collection Fuses Experience, Innovation, and Community Impact in New Role

San Antonio, TX (January 7, 2019) – Today, the McNay Art Museum is excited to welcome Dr. R. Scott Blackshire as the new Curator, Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts. Dr. Blackshire received his PhD in Performance Studies through the Performance as Public Practice program at The University of Texas at Austin. He holds a Bachelor and a Master of Music degree in Opera Performance, and has sung with regional opera companies in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Blackshire brings more than two decades of professional, academic, and consulting experience to the Museum. His work includes overseeing an important, private art collection, directing a children’s charity in Cambodia, and teaching in higher education. His passionate outlook towards theatre arts sits at the intersection of culture and community, where he encourages performance innovations and advocates for social justice. Blackshire’s examination of contemporary performing arts recognizes entrepreneurial artists whose creative labor enhances their communities.

“Dr. Blackshire is a community-driven artist, educator, and scholar,” said Richard Aste, Director of the McNay. “His training and practice embody the Museum’s dual commitment to artistic excellence and social impact. We are therefore thrilled to welcome Scott as only the third curator of the McNay’s renowned Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts.”

In 2008 Dr. Blackshire served as Co-Chair of Communications for Create Austin, a community-wide survey of Austin’s attitudes towards the arts. He received a semi-finalist nod in the 2013 Dell Social Innovation Challenge for Austin Healthy Artists (AHA!), a collaborative proposal to fund mobile health clinics designed to provide healthcare to Austin artists. Blackshire designed and moderated the 2014 University of North Florida colloquium, Moral Courage in the Civil Rights Era: A Conversation with Rodney Hurst and a Performance-based Examination of Hemming Plaza. He has presented at the annual Conference on Research Education (CARE) and the PAVE Biennial Conference on Entrepreneurship and the Arts. He also co-moderated a conversation on arts and entrepreneurship, and presented research at multiple annual meetings of the US Department of Education’s School Leadership Program.

“Scott brings to the McNay and to the Tobin Collection a broad range of professional and life experiences that will enhance the foundation built by visionary collector Robert Tobin, and expanded by former curators Linda Hardberger and Jody Blake,” said René Paul Barilleaux, Head of Curatorial Affairs. “Scott’s wide-ranging background will ensure the Collection’s continued global presence and appreciation, and his interest in community will serve to strengthen ties with regional theatre professionals.”

Dr. Blackshire teaches a professional development course in Cognitive Coaching through The Thinking Collaborative, and authored the chapter “Certified Cognitive Coaching in a School Leadership Program” in From Policy to Practice: Sustainable Innovations in School Leadership Preparation and Development. More recently, he presented at the 2017 Society for Arts Entrepreneurship Education and the 2018 Association for Theatre in Higher Education annual meetings. Dr. Blackshire was the tenor soloist in the Round Rock Symphony’s presentation of Beethoven’s Choral Fantasia, and he currently sits on the board of Spotlight on Opera, a professional development program for classical singers.

“I look forward to creating dynamic and collaborative exhibitions that reflect the diversity of San Antonio, and demonstrate the McNay’s continued commitment to socially conscious initiatives and installations,” said Blackshire. “I am honored to uphold the Museum’s mission to engage everyone in the enjoyment of the visual arts through museum experiences inspired by the celebrated Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts.”

About the McNay Art Museum

The McNay Art Museum engages a diverse community in the discovery and enjoyment of the visual arts. Built in the 1920s by artist and educator Marion Koogler McNay, the Spanish Colonial Revival residence became the site of Texas’s first museum of modern art when it opened in 1954. Today, more than 140,000 visitors a year enjoy works by modern masters including Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, Edward Hopper, Joan Mitchell, Alice Neel, Georgia O’Keeffe, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. The 23 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds include sculptures by Robert Indiana, Luis A. Jiménez Jr., George Rickey, Joel Shapiro, and Kiki Smith. The 45,000-square-foot Jane & Arthur Stieren Center for Exhibitions, designed by internationally renowned French architect Jean-Paul Viguier, features three significant exhibitions annually.

For almost 65 years, the McNay has enchanted visitors with its art, architecture, and ambiance. The museum offers rich and varied exhibitions as well as rotating displays in the Main Collection Galleries from the 20,000 works in the collection; more than 45,000 adults, teachers, students, and families take advantage of a variety of education programs and innovative educational resources.

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Rachel Trevino, Head of Communications and Marketing

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