They welcome you in and wish you well on your way out
From the first faces you see when you enter our new home to assisting with public programs, working in the galleries and making some of the behind-the-scenes magic happen, Visitor Experience are on the front lines of audience interaction — and we wouldn’t have it any other way. With radical hospitality at the forefront of our values, VE staff lead the way.
"I am very fortunate to lead an exceptionally talented Visitor Experience team at Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center,” says Visitor Experience Manager Amanda Herl. “Visitor Experience staff are the face of the organization and create a critical first impression in welcoming visitors to the arts center and ensuring their time spent with us is meaningful and enjoyable."
This #ThursdayThree highlights a few of our stellar VE staff. Whether they’re answering questions about works on view, pointing you in the right direction, setting up and breaking down events or working an art-making station at Second Saturday, these invaluable employees help to keep Oklahoma Contemporary’s doors open.
Meet Evan, a passionate, creative individual who always offers a smile and assistance. Outside of his VE responsibilities, Evan is a photographer, practicing for three years now. Making his own way in the photography world, Evan combines his love for capturing moments and fashion. With an idea in mind, the creative seeks out an individual for a shoot, thrifts the perfect fit and gets to work, creating vivid and lively images from start to finish. Recently, Evan's work was featured in our staff exhibition, art_work_2022.
Evan has been a part of the Oklahoma Contemporary VE team for almost a year and a half, finding community at every turn.
“Having the ability to work with like-minded individuals and so many other creatives is my favorite part,” Evan says. “Even in the galleries, I come across so many different local artists as well. Being able to communicate ideas and bounce ideas off people is something really inspiring to me and keeps me going.”
By end of summer, Evan plans to publish his own photography book.
As a VE lead, Dakota is an integral part to the Visitors Experience team. Outside of Oklahoma Contemporary, Dakota attends Oklahoma City Community College and hits the basketball court whenever he can. As are many who work in our new home, Dakota is a creative and has dabbled in ceramics, drawing, stagecraft and modeling, even making his way onto two magazine covers.
Dakota has been part of the Oklahoma Contemporary family for a little over two years and finds a piece of home in the people who work here.
“My favorite part of working at Oklahoma Contemporary is definitely the people I work with,” Dakota says. “Everyone is open-minded and passionate about providing an experience that guests will love.”
Dakota plans to graduate with a business degree and to grow within Oklahoma Contemporary.
Mireya, a proud Mexican-American born and raised in Oklahoma, is a fashion marketing senior at the University of Central Oklahoma. With a keen eye for the creative, Mireya finds joy through thrifting and antiquing, finding that hidden gem among the racks and shelves to bring home and make her own. Through her love for fashion, Mireya is able to be creative in her day-to-day life, wordlessly expressing herself by what she wears.
Mireya has been with the VE team for a year and a half, and she says working around art is one of the best aspects of her Oklahoma Contemporary job.
"The art itself and the exhibits that come our way are such an amazing opportunity to get the community to the arts scene," Mireya says. "Seeing familiar faces and hearing guests come in and say, 'Oh, we were here for the last one, but we haven't seen this one!' It's really exciting and one of my favorite parts."
As for the future, happiness and a fulfilling life top her list. Taking any adventures and opportunities that come her way, Mireya aims to land a career in the fashion industry, pushing her creativity even further.
If you see these three around, be sure to say hello! A blogpost isn’t nearly enough to show our gratitude for VE staff and all that they do, but it’s a way to showcase the variety of individuals who help make our grounds a creative home.
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