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Staff Spotlight: Mary Nangah

April 24, 2012

Mary Nangah wears many hats.  She is an artist, a student, and an aspiring chef.  She is also the DMA’s part-time Community Teaching Assistant.  Mary’s hard work behind-the-scenes helps make Go van Gogh visits and community outreach events happen.  Here, Mary tells us more about her role at the Museum.

Mary Nangah

Describe your job here at the Museum:

I work primarily with Go van Gogh,  and my main duties involve planning and prepping supplies for volunteers to take into the classroom.  I also help with any upcoming projects that may arise, such as reviewing the DMA Connect website and helping with the Dallas International Film Festival‘s High School Day.  I also assist Melissa with Go van Gogh volunteer training.

Could you trace the path that has brought you to the DMA?

It was the summer of 2011, and I was interning at the Rachofsky House during the Museum Forum for Teachers.  I met Melissa  during that week, and she thought I was awesome because I helped her during an art-making activity.  And she must have thought to herself, “Hmm, Mary would really be a good fit for the Go van Gogh program.”  So by the end of the week, Melissa and I exchanged contact information and she said she would keep me posted on internship opportunities at the DMA.  I started here as a part-time intern at the end of August.

What has been the most interesting aspect of your work here?

Well, besides checking out the food trucks, it has been interesting to see how much planning goes into the Go van Gogh program.  Every little step matters, from making sure the materials are prepared ahead of time, to packing the bags, to making sure the schools are reminded that volunteers are coming.  Each of those steps, which may seem small, all keep the program flowing smoothly.

The people I work with are an essential part of what makes my work here interesting.  Hannah and I work well together because we have an understanding of what needs to be done to keep things moving steadily forward.  With the larger department, there is a good amount of collaboration, teamwork, and encouragement.  And we have great lunches together, too!

How do you spend your time outside the Museum?

I enjoy watching CNN, the Food Network, and HGTV.  I also love cooking.  Oh, yeah, I am working on my PhD at the University of North Texas, too.  Hence, I do a lot of reading, thinking, and writing about art education.  Specifically, I am researching contemporary West African art.  My interest in this area comes from my background as a Cameroonian artist, as well as my interest in finding out about other contemporary West African artists.  The next step of my research is to travel to Ghana in the summer of 2012.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Well, I had better be done with my PhD and working at either a university or a museum/art center.  I’m leaning towards wanting to be a curator, but a curator who is attached to education because I think they’re connected.  As an art educator, I believe it’s important for me to create an environment where art can be experienced by and accessible to everyone.  Art education, for me, goes beyond the classroom and the museum and into every day happenings.  Art is for every day.

Mary Nangah, The Ultimate Leap, 2010, Oil on canvas

We have all enjoyed working with Mary over the past year and can’t wait to see where her poise, intellect, and excellent sense of humor take her in the future!

Shannon Karol
Manager of Docent Programs and Gallery Teaching

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Melissa Nelson permalink
    April 24, 2012 2:20 pm

    Hmm, did I really say you were awesome? Yes, I probably did. We definitely appreciate how much you’ve helped this year!

  2. April 25, 2012 8:26 pm

    And now I’m saying it too Mary, you’re AWESOME!

  3. Loryn Leonard permalink
    May 2, 2012 10:56 am

    I love your painting, Mary!

  4. Mary Nangah permalink
    May 8, 2012 2:35 pm

    Thanks Ladies! 🙂

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