Today’s post concludes our summer blog series, Meet & Greet. We’ve enjoyed sharing our staff with you and hope you’ve learned a little more about the Sid Richardson Museum. For our final introduction, let me tell you a little bit about myself, Leslie Thompson, Adult Audiences Manager.
Describe your job.
I work within the education department, primarily with our Adult Programs. I design and implement dynamic programs for adults to provide engaging experiences aimed at enhancing visitors’ relationships with the artwork. In addition, I organize continuing education for our docents and manage special events hosted at the museum.
What does any average day entail?
Every day is different, but usually I am planning or preparing for an upcoming program, which often involves conducting research about a certain topic related to our collection, gathering together all necessary materials, and coordinating with staff. And I’m always looking for a fun fact or behind-the-scenes detail to reveal to our audiences through social media.
What’s the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is having the opportunity to not only learn about a variety of subjects, but to be able to share this wealth of knowledge with the public and engage with fellow art enthusiasts. I’m also fortunate to work with such an amazing staff who are supportive and open to new ideas.
What’s the most interesting fun fact you’ve learned about the collection/museum?
As I read more about the artists represented in our collection, I’m continuously amazed at how adventurous these men were, especially during a period when transportation was not the easiest. They traveled everywhere! As a teenager, Russell moved from the established city of St. Louis to the uncharted Montana Territory. Remington traveled from New York to Cuba, and William Robertson Leigh journeyed to Africa – twice! Several of them toured Europe, as was the custom of artists at the turn of the century – both Leigh and Charles Schreyvogel studied in Munich and Edwin Willard Deming in Paris. And of course, each of these men traveled to the American West, as best captured in their artwork.
Favorite work in the collection? Why?
I love watercolors, which is why I’m naturally drawn to Russell’s The Scout. Russell thought he was a better watercolorist than a painter of oils, which is probably why a third of his artistic output was in watercolors. Watercolor is a difficult medium, so I admire anyone who can produce a good watercolor painting. Because Russell was self-taught, he practiced several techniques that most trained watercolorists wouldn’t do. For example, Russell layered the watercolors to create a thicker buildup of paint, as if they were oil paints. But above all else, I like the simplicity and elegance of this painting.