Wednesday, May 6, VRA Webinar Stories from the Start

Tomorrow is the deadline to register for the Wednesday, May 6, VRA Webinar Stories from the Start. Originally part of the Baltimore conference program, this one-hour moderated discussion has been moved online. It is free of charge to members and non-members, although advanced registration is required. Please sign up by the end of the day on May 5 using MyVRA. You will receive an email with information on how to log into the Zoom session the morning of the webinar. Please contact with any technology concerns.

Stories from the Start
May 6, 2020
2 pm–3 pm EST via Zoom
Registration Link:
Moderators: Julia Murphy and Kendra Werst
Speakers: Marcia Focht, Julie Irick, Margaret McKee

Have questions about starting out in the Visual Resources field? Interested in hearing other VRA members’ backstories? Join VREPS for an informal conversation with experienced professionals. Speakers will share stories from the beginning years of their careers and discuss the challenges they faced. An open discussion will follow, allowing all attendees to ask questions.

Marcia Focht is the Curator of the Visual Resources Center at Binghamton University, starting this position in 1986. In this 30+ year career, she has experienced major transitions in image practice, technology, media, usage, and scholarship. Marcia has presented her experiences at numerous conferences, including the VRA (Visual Resources Association), CIT (Conference on Instructional Technology), EVA (Electronic Visualization in the Arts), and CAA (College Art Association). Current projects include a series of Digital Humanities presentations and workshops for graduate students, faculty, and staff across disciplines and units. These sessions emphasize hands-on experimentation, sharing knowledge, and implementing current standards and best practices. Above all, Marcia encourages an atmosphere of collaboration in which we are unafraid to make mistakes and together add to communal skill sets, thereby increasing competency and confidence for all involved. Currently on the VRAF (Visual Resources Association Foundation) Board of Directors, Marcia also served two terms as VRA Secretary on the Executive Board and 13 years as VRA Mentor Coordinator, as well as done instruction for the ARLIS/NA-VRA Summer Educational Institute. Her educational credentials include a BFA in Printmaking and an MA in Art History from the University of Denver.

Julie Irick has been a photo archivist for nearly 20 years. She has worked in public and private archives on both coasts and has been the City Photo Archivist at the City of Seattle for the last 14.5 years. Julie received her MLIS from Queens College in 2003. Having gone to graduate school thinking she would be a public librarian, halfway through the program Julie found herself working part-time in the Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections at the New York Historical Society and loved it! She never looked back and has carved out a successful career in a very niche and competitive profession – public records photo archives.

Margaret C. McKee is the Digital Asset Manager at the Menil Collection in Houston, Texas. A work-study position in a slide library in college ended up being the inciting incident for a career spent working with images. In her current role at the Menil, Margaret oversees photography of collection objects, digitization of analog photography, rights and reproductions, and soon the implementation of a digital asset management system. Previously, she worked in photographic and imaging services at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. She began her professional career as the Slide Librarian at Southwestern University. She holds an AA from Bard College at Simon’s Rock, a BAFA in Art History from the University of New Mexico, and an MS in Information Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. Margaret has served as co-chair of the VRA’s Intellectual Property Rights Committee.

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