Welcome to the final installment of Meet Our Staff, which has graced this site every Wednesday for the month of March. We’re sad to see it go, but the chance to get to know the people behind the scenes has been so popular that I have a feeling it will return someday.
5 Questions for William Maguire
What is your role at the UMFA? Describe a typical (or memorable!) day on the job.
I am an Accounting Assistant at the museum and work closely with the Head Accountant to monitor all of the museum’s money. I started at the museum two years ago for Speed as a Membership Clerk at the front desk. After Speed ended, I applied for my current position and have been there ever since. My job description as an Accounting Assistant included the phrase “assist in other miscellaneous tasks,” and it is these tasks that keep the job so interesting. Whether it’s setting up computer systems and helping consignment artists carry in inventory for the annual Holiday Market or physically counting every single item in the Museum Gift Store’s inventory, or even figuring out how to reboot the internet router when it goes down, there is always something new to keep me on my toes.
What is your favorite work in the collection, and why?
My favorite work in the collection was a part of the Under Pressure exhibition that recently left the museum. The piece was titled Bull Profile Series by Roy Liechtenstein. It depicted six separate pictures of a bull where Liechtenstein explored the progression of the image from representation to abstract. Bull I was a black-and-white sketch of a bull—nothing too fancy. Bull II was more deconstructed and less detailed. Bull III transforms the image into much blockier shapes, adding in primary colors. Bull IV and V continue to deconstruct the image until finally Bull VI which is a pure abstraction—nothing more than a colorful arrangement of geometric strips and shapes. I love this piece because by the last image, where Lichtenstein has created a pure abstraction, only our own imaginations can be credited for conjuring up the idea of a bull. (Of course, he’s set the stage in the first five prints to make sure our minds do just that!)
What are your favorite parts of this city and this state? When you’re not at the museum, where might we find you?
As a broke college student, I often frequent the cheaper sides of Salt Lake. Whether it be hiking with friends around the U or catching a movie at the Sugarhouse Dollar Theater, we always have a fun time. I enjoy ravaging through the local DI for the best finds. Recently, I’ve picked up a pair of rollerblades for $3.00 and have found a new passion. I can often be sighted taking a st(roll) in Liberty Park.
What is your favorite way to pass the time—what are your hobbies, your talents, your interests?
My favorite way to pass time is through music. Whether that be by singing or playing instruments, listening to songs, or attempting to dance, I love music. For the past couples of years, I have been in a choir that performs around Salt Lake City and at the U. I play the piano and have recently taken a guitar class to further expand my musical talents.
I play the piano at my church weekly and thrive at the opportunity to play for weddings, choirs, or general accompaniment. I try to use my musical talents as best I can to keep them alive. One way I like to combine them all and keep practicing is through theatre—musicals.
How did you discover acting? What plays have you participated in? Do you have a favorite production, either one you were in, or one you saw?
I became involved in theater when I was in middle school. I saw the auditions for our school’s musical and thought, ‘what the heck.’ From then on out, I was hooked. I participated in theatre all through junior high and into high school. After moving to Salt Lake to begin college, I became so wrapped up in school and work that I wasn’t able to find time for theatre. Last summer I decided I needed to respark my interest, so I auditioned for Footloose with the Spotlight Theater Company. I had forgotten how much I truly missed being on stage. Being on stage and being able to showcase my talents is the greatest rush in life.
My favorite production to participate in to date was The Scarlet Pimpernel. This was the musical my high school did my senior year. The play itself is so intense and the music is so powerful that it paralleled where my life was at the time—finishing high school, moving on to college—leaving behind a part of my life and starting a new chapter. Some of my favorite memories are from this play seeing as it was the last time I was able to perform with my life-long friends. I’ve been in over a dozen productions to date and hope to continue with theatre.