Member Testimony:

Phi Nguyen

Phi Nguyen

Sustainer + Moderns member – Moderns Board Secretary, Treasurer, and Chair-elect – Omelette Party Chef Committee Chair

 

WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO BECOME A MEMBER OF THE OKLAHOMA CITY MUSEUM OF ART?

I have been a supporter of OKCMOA since I began working downtown in 2011. My office was a block away, and I enjoyed escaping to the Museum for lunch and wandering through the galleries. When the young patrons’ group, the Moderns, was founded in 2014, I immediately joined. Since becoming involved with the Moderns, my appreciation and support for OKCMOA has continued to grow. Now, in addition to being a Sustainer member, I serve as Secretary/Treasurer and chair-elect on the Moderns Board as well as chair of the Chef Committee for one of the Museum’s longest-running fundraising events, Omelette Party. Supporting the Museum is one of my passions, and I’ve had the privilege of being involved in many ways.

WHAT MEMBER BENEFIT DO YOU APPRECIATE THE MOST, AND WHY?

As a Sustainer member, I find great value in the exclusive opportunities offered such as exhibition preview events and behind-the-scenes tours. I also use my member discount frequently at the Museum Store and Museum Cafe.

HOW FREQUENTLY DO YOU VISIT THE MUSEUM?

I make it a goal to visit at least once a month. However, when a new exhibition opens, I am often found there almost every day of opening week! The excitement and energy at the Museum and from the Museum staff during the openings is electric, and I can’t help but want to be a part of it.

DO YOU HAVE A STORY OR MEMORY TO SHARE ABOUT THE MUSEUM?

I love to bring my 81-year-old grandmother to the Museum. We usually begin with a light bite in the Museum Cafe, and then I guide her through the newest exhibitions. We have seen it so many times now, but I will never forget the first time my grandmother experienced the Chihuly exhibition. Her eyes were as big as saucers, and she exclaimed, “Wow” at least a dozen times.The Museum’s permanent Dale Chihuly: Magic & Light exhibition is a true treasure, and I am so proud to know Oklahoma City is home to one of the largest collections of Chihuly glass in the world. I get a thrill every time I have the privilege of sharing the exhibition with someone for the first time. The awe and wonder you feel walking among Chihuly’s work never goes away.

WHY DO YOU FEEL THE OKLAHOMA CITY MUSEUM OF ART IS IMPORTANT – TO YOU, YOUR FAMILY, OUR COMMUNITY?

OKCMOA is important to me on many levels. I believe a sign of every city’s greatness is its art museum. Oklahoma City and our community are so fortunate to have a high-caliber museum located in the urban core. OKCMOA contributes greatly to the vibrancy and cultural richness of downtown Oklahoma City and beyond. Art … transcends socioeconomic boundaries and limitations. OKCMOA understands the very real barriers to accessibility, and I am proud to support a museum that actively strives to make itself available and welcoming to our entire community. These efforts can be seen in action through SONIC Free Family Days, Babies at the Museum and Museum Playdate programs geared toward parents and their babies, and partnerships with NewView Oklahoma to provide arts programs to the blind and visually impaired.

WHAT’S THE OKLAHOMA CITY MUSEUM OF ART’S BEST-KEPT SECRET?

The Museum Store. Let’s be honest: Everybody loves a good gift shop. However, the Museum Store is so much more. Richard Bruner, the store manager, does a stellar job of curating the merchandise, providing Museum visitors with an eclectic, interesting, and diverse range of products. I especially adore Trevor Wayne’s lines of pop art originals, prints, mugs, and lapel pins. For me, the Museum Store is a one-stop shop for any gift – whether it’s OKCMOA-branded candles, Isabelle de Borchgrave paper jewelry, or Joe Slack’s mini steel-and-bronze sculptures.

 

Image: Danielle Dodson, Phi Nguyen, and Terri Cooper at a Sustainers’ exhibition preview event.