This blog has been such a great venue as of late to promote the work of fantastic artists, as well as some of our very exciting events in the UMFA. There’s no doubt that working at the museum is unlike working anywhere else, and the staff that keeps it all together is a fascinating group. Each Tuesday for the month of November presents a chance to introduce readers of our blog to the people who keep the museum running behind-the-scenes.
So let’s kick things off:
5 Questions for Mike Farfel
What is your role at the UMFA? Describe a typical (or memorable!) day on the job.
I’m the Assistant Security Supervisor. Typical days in Security are nice, we get to patrol the museum and enjoy the art. Occasionally we have to deal with emergencies: fire alarms, flooding, unruly patrons. It all comes with the territory.
What is your favorite work in the collection, and why?
“Breathless: Self-Portrait in Blue” [Robert Carston Arneson, 1976]. It’s a fun piece to see in the galleries. I feel like I can relate to him, he’s struggling against something but seems to be having a good time.
What are your favorite parts of this city and this state? When you’re not at the museum, where might we find you?
I really enjoy all the different parks, especially the ones hidden around town. Generally on my days off I can be found at coffee shops, most likely the Rose Establishment, getting beat at scrabble by my girlfriend.
What is your favorite way to pass the time—what are your hobbies, your talents, your interests?
I play a lot of video games and drink a lot of coffee. I also practice and teach Internal Martial Arts, Fu Style Wudang Fist. For the most part I want to write and practice Tai Chi. If that’s all I ever had to do I’d be a happy man.
Something not everyone might know about you is that you’re also a writer, and that you’ve published a novel. Could you tell us a bit about the process of creating that work? What’s next for your life as a writer?
I just had to commit to an idea and to writing every day. I’m also lucky enough to have a great group of friends and family that wanted to, and want to, see me succeed. Having their encouragement was very helpful to feeling comfortable with a potentially fruitless labor. It’s been great, though. I love to write and am very excited with how Tulip turned out. As far as what’s next, I hope more people find my book and enjoy it. I guess it’s a matter of sparking interest now. And of course there will always be little writing projects. Hopefully another novel someday, too.