Chicago Studio Volunteer Spotlight: John Morris

June 15, 2015 By vincent-uribe

 [[{“fid”:”8015″,”view_mode”:”default”,”fields”:{“format”:”default”,”field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]”:””,”field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]”:”John Morris “},”type”:”media”,”link_text”:null,”attributes”:{“title”:”John Morris “,”height”:366,”width”:652,”class”:”media-element file-default”}}]] John has been an amazing archiving volunteer at the Chicago studio since 2013. John’s consistency, knowledge, and demeanor have made him a huge asset to our community- we interrupted John’s busy schedule Wednesday to hang out and pick his brain!  How did you get involved with the Arts of Life?I got involved with the Arts of Life when I attended a non-profit job fair at Columbia College Chicago. I researched the organization ahead of the event and knew they were looking for a volunteer archivist which I found interesting. I introduced myself to Liz Longo (who has since moved to Montana) and arranged to come in for a studio tour. What is your background (School/practice)?My background is actually in music. I studied Music Performance and History as an undergraduate. I used that to transition into the management aspect of the non-profit world which is why I came to Chicago to obtain a Masters in Arts Administration.  How Long have you been involved with the Arts of Life?I don’t remember the exact date of the Job Fair, but it was Autumn of 2013. I did the studio tour soon after that, I did do some volunteer work in 2013, but with the holiday season starting I feel like the bulk of my work has been in 2014. What are some of your favorite aspects of volunteering at the Arts of Life?I love the people I work with. Overall artists, regardless of their field, have a great love and appreciation for life and I have always enjoyed spending time with artists and the positive outlook they have for the world. Who are some of the artists you have gotten close to at the Arts of Life during your time with us?David Kruger gave me one of his trademark tours of the studio when I arrived, so he was the first artist I met. Then I sat down with Tim Stone while he worked on his artwork. The first project I did was reorganizing the storage space for the artwork; Jean Wilson assisted me with that project and she’s very sociable so I know her well. I spend quite a bit of time as an archivist on the computer which is in the back room, Christianne Msall, Kris Schenkel, Debbie Vasquez, Stefan Harhaj, and Bill Lilly all visit me fairly regularly which is nice. But as an archivist I photograph and upload all of their works to our database and the website so I’ve come to recognize their individual styles and personalities through their work, in that sense I’ve gotten to know all of them well. What do you like to do outside of volunteering?Outside of volunteering I am looking for work in the Performing Arts world (those jobs are just as hard to get as the jobs onstage), but also I’m a lifelong swimmer, I’ve been a curler for the past four years (it’s a winter Olympic sport), and I visit my family as often as I can.