Playing Favorites: Michele Andrews & Kirsty Mitchell

We’ve asked FWMoA staff the hardest question you can ask art museum people: so, what is your favorite artwork currently on display? As “art museum people”, we often get asked about our favorite artists, artworks, and the art we choose to hang on our own walls. Since not all of our staff are front-end, and not all of them write for the blog, this series gives everyone a chance to get to know them, too. Taking advantage of our rotating exhibitions of artworks, from painted portraits to sculpted bronzes, FWMoA staff from all departments are choosing artworks that enthrall and enchant them; or, in other words, playing favorites.

A portrait of the author, Michele Andrews, smiling and standing in front of FMWoA's glass Chihuly sculptures.
Michele Andrews, FMWoA Visitor Services. Photo courtesy of FWMoA.

Michele Andrews, Visitor Services, has made the FWMoA her place of work for the past three years (as of December 2021!). As a security guard, she is constantly interacting with the art as she passes each piece multiple times a day. Her current favorite? Gammelyn’s Daughter – A Waking Dream by British photographer Kristy Mitchell.

A photograph of a woman in a purple dress laying on her back in a field of lavender. In her hands she holds a tiny, purple model ship with sails.
Kirsty Mitchell, British, b. 1976. Gammelyn’s Daughter-A Waking Dream. Archival pigment print, 2012. Museum purchase, 2018.93. Image courtesy of FWMoA.

Q: What is the first thing you noticed about this artwork? What drew you to this particular piece?

A: It’s otherworldly and magical.

Q: Would you hang this artwork in your home? Why or why not?

A: Yes! It’s whimsical. Bear with me, as you’re about to read the art worlds longest run-on sentence! It makes me remember the times I ran into the family room to sit down in front of the television as the wonderful world of Disney began so I could see Tinker Bell flying into the screen tapping her wand with sparkles flying everywhere.

Q: What does this artwork mean to you?

A: Even though this is a framed photograph, it feels very interactive to me. I can imagine taking a running leap into the photograph and landing in a fanciful fairy world all decked out in appropriate garb and connected to the earth in someway.

Q: Any particular details about the artist or artwork you want to share?

A: The details behind this photograph, and the series of photographs it is part of, that Kristy Mitchell took at this time in her life is very moving. I recommend reading about it for yourself in her book, Wonderland, so you can experience it through her words.

Editors Note: You can see her work in action here on Vimeo!

Q: Any other comments about this artwork?

A: Kristy Mitchell, if you happen to read this, and you are looking to do the same theme around water with mermaids…I am available! You know where I work!

Q: Why did you choose to work in an art museum?

A: I wanted a job I would enjoy, and being able to admire the art is pleasurable. Plus, art museums are awesome! Especially the Fort Wayne Museum of Art!!

Q: What kind of art (if any) do you have in your home?

A: I’ve recently started collecting works from a local artist, Capricious Whimsy by Angi.

Come visit FWMoA to see Michele’s favorite artwork on display through November 7th in A Century of Making Meaning.

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