Five Questions to SFMOMA artists, staff, or guests. Libby Garrison started at SFMOMA 19 years ago as an intern in the PR and Marketing Department, back when the museum was located in the War Memorial Veterans Building. Since then she has become the acting director of marketing and communications, and today she departs SFMOMA to serve as the director of marketing and communications at the Walt Disney Family Museum in the Presidio. In honor of Libby’s years at the museum, her amazing staff created a faux press release in her honor and distributed it at her going-away party. It’s hilarious, and sweet. We’ll miss you, Libby.
Do you collect anything?
One of the things I collect was actually inspired by an exhibition we had here at SFMOMA about 10 years ago called California Pottery; that’s where I learned to love Bauer ringware pottery. I have several small bowls and a butter plate. I prefer the black ringware because it’s the rarest. When I got married four or five years ago I happily found out that my husband collected Bauer flowerpots, so between the two of us we have quite a nice collection.
If you could spend an afternoon with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
The first person who comes to mind is also one of my favorite artists: Robert Bechtle. One, because being a San Francisco native, I love everything San Francisco, and I love his photorealism paintings of the Sunset row houses. I would love to spend an afternoon with him, walking the streets in the Sunset and Potrero Hill — even in Stinson Beach, where he also did a piece — and just getting his thoughts and learning what inspired him specifically about those neighborhoods and those streets, and hearing more about San Francisco history from an artist’s perspective.
If you could steal any artwork in the world to have up in your home, what would it be?
In my home I might want to have one of Sol Lewitt’s Loopy Doopy wall works in my front stairwell. My front door opens and the stairs curve up, and I have all white walls; I think a Sol Lewitt Loopy Doopy installation would be pretty incredible. It wouldn’t match anything in my house, but I would love it anyway.
If you weren’t in marketing and communications, what would your gig be?
I’d be a wedding planner. I’m obsessed with weddings. I was one of those people who despised weddings until I got engaged myself, and then I completely bought into the racket that it actually is. I love flipping through wedding magazines, I love wedding cakes, I love everything wedding, and I am completely obsessed with invitations. My friends, when they get married, are always worried about sending me their invitations because they know I’ll critique them. That’s what I’d be: a wedding planner.
What should I ask you?
What’s my favorite thing about working at SFMOMA? The people. The people are amazing, smart, funny, interesting. I have lots of friends who work in the corporate environment, and everyone is sort of the same there. Here, I have my best friends right next to me. Definitely the people and the artists; I’m going to miss everybody. It’s a good staff.