Interview with Stephen McKenzie, Arts Workshop Manager

September 27, 2010 at 3:00 pm Leave a comment

Stephen McKenzie is the manager of the Newark Museum’s Arts Workshop.  

Tell us about your background and how you found yourself at the Newark Museum? 

SM:  A friend of mine informed me about an opening at the Museum, which peeked my interest.  I was introduced to the (then) manager and director of the department, and we spoke about my background and how it fit into this position.  I had arts education and administrative experience, and I have always enjoyed working with people, which is a fundamental part of this job.    

I hold art degrees from the following universities:  BA from St. John’s University in Minnesota; MA from St. Cloud State University in Minnesota;  MFA from Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts in New Jersey; and I spent one year in Rome with the Tyler School of Art program out of Philadelphia.  

It’s now seventeen years since I took the position as arts workshop manager, and it’s been a wonderfully creative experience.  

What kind of classes can you find at the Arts Workshop? 

SM: My mantra in determining classes is to “keep it fresh and diverse.”  We essentially have everything…from beadworking , knitting, painting, quilting, photography, clay making, Asian arts, glass, mosaics, and more.   The only class we don’t offer is woodworking.  

Our art workshops are held quarterly, and we are now taking registrations for the 2010 fall programs.  Our instructors are professionals in their field, both as artists and as educators.  Those who attend our courses expect to learn something new, and they ultimately receive an educational, creative and structured experience, while having fun.  

What’s your goal?  

SM: “Learn-Play-Have Fun.”   

Stephen McKenzie, Newark Museum Arts Workshop Manager

 

If I can fulfill that everyday that I’m here,then I am doing my job.  Learning is at the forefront in everything we do at the Newark Museum Arts Workshop.    I remind myself daily to meet the expectations of the students, and to ensure they are getting their money’s worth in a creative, learning environment.  For me, the biggest payoff is when I see the participants walking out of their respective classes with smiles on their faces.  

Find more information about the Newark Museum Arts Workshop by visiting http://www.newarkmuseum.org/Default.aspx

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