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Employment in Glasgow Museums a Challenge

IN THE SUMMER of 2005, city's museums and
Will Vasquez, an galleries.
accomplished museum Since receiving his
educator from the steamy Resident's Permit and
Gulf Coast of Texas moved authorisation to work in the
back to Glasgow to marry UK in January of this year,
his girlfriend from university. Vasquez applied for a
He planned to donate his myriad (over 15) of
museum experience and vacancies with Cultural and
knowledge to Glasgow's Leisure Services. To his
museums in the six-month disbelief, Vasquez has yet
period before his marriage, to be invited for a single
but was surprised to learn interview. Vasquez added:
that Glasgow's museums “Show me that Glasgow has
had no use for his gift of more than its share of
service. young talent looking to stay
Mr. Vasquez said of the the course with more
situation: education, experience, and
“Shortly after arriving, I was motivation than me and I'll
eager to return to museum walk away content that the
work and attempted to future of this city's cultural
volunteer my services to institutions is safe without
Glasgow Museums, but was talent from abroad.”
told that it wasn't common The lack of interest shown
practice to take on by the Council has bound to
volunteers without proper be a shock to someone who
Will Vasquez's painting “Southern Comfort” (2006) work permits. It's a shame has worked in the
that the Council would turn academic, practical, and
down a gift of service business ends of the art


(valued at over $12,500 for world, been the artist and
the 6-month period) at a the purveyor of art, pulled
time when it was facing the strings behind the
Clip this coupon and redeem it for a chance to difficulty funding its existing curtains for all of these
employees and organisations and even
interview Glasgow's favourite Texan son-in-law! programmes.” successfully set up and ran
Undeterred, Vasquez his own art-related

continued working on his businesses. ...all in the
painting and visiting the space of half a decade.


Phone Will Vasquez directly at the phone number • Vasquez's academic endeavors at the
listed below or email him at “Harvard of the South” to arrange a suitable
time and location for this amazing once-in-a- • One of the largest art museums in the
lifetime opportunity. States takes on Vasquez...TWICE!!!
• LzDz Revolutionary Skateboards Roll On
from Sunny California to Paris

Will VASQUEZ 339 7405 Will VASQUEZ


Rice is
his main
In June 2001, Will Vasquez's mentors
bestowed two honours Bachelor's
degrees on him, in studio art and the
history of art, from a private and highly Rice University is ranked in the top 10 universities for undergraduate education
and research in the US by U.S. News and World Report (2005) and boasts the
selective university in the U.S. deemed fifth largest endowment of all American universities.
the "Harvard of the South", (Wm. Marsh)
Rice University. His apprenticeships extended Victoria and Albert Museum,
As part of those degrees, he came and outside the university, from and compiled education
studied at both the University of Glasgow working in a city gallery with packets to accompany
and the Glasgow School of Art, earning fresh contemporary (and largely travelling exhibitions. Working
high marks at each institution. At his local) artists to researching Van at the Sally Sprout Gallery in
home university, due partly to his Gogh's, Monet's and Renoir's Houston, he received an
aptitude and partly to his diligence, he for a curator of one of the initiation into the marketplace
was taken as an apprentice / assistant to largest art museums in the and had face-to-face contact
professors in both of his lines of study, country, The Museum of Fine with the public, from the
helping edit and research scholarly texts Arts, Houston. Houston, uneducated gallery patron, to
on one hand, and doing ground work for despite its location in the heart the collector, to the hyper-
professional artists' studios on the other. of cowboy country in Texas, is educated, and back to the
teeming with art and art-loving artists themselves. “Leaving
By his third and fourth year at university, oil tycoons, and a central hub university, I felt I had both
he was given the nod to research the between Los Angeles and New tested my book knowledge and
university's selection of new lecturers York. At the museum, he had put it to some credible use in
and an incoming department chair, acted his research published in the the community, working at both
as a personal assistant and gallery collection catalogue, worked the micro and macro levels of
liaison for three studio art professors, alongside curators developing arts organisations and places in
and worked with both departments to and installing a major exhibition between,” Vasquez concluded.
develop and present symposia on art. with staff from Great Britain's ê Click below for websites ê

More info

EDUCATION LANDMARKS: Will Vasquez A Tale of Two Cities

1997 Lamar Consolidated High School - Top 3% of graduating class, HOUSTON, Texas - Fourth-largest
Honour Graduate, National Honor Society, Duke Hispanic Scholar of city in the U.S. with 4.7 million
the Year, Varsity Football Captain, National Young Leaders Award. residents living in 8,778-square miles
of the eight-county Houston met area.
2001 Rice University / University of Glasgow / Glasgow School of Art -
GLASGOW, Scotland – Largest
Honour Graduate, Bachelor's Degrees in Art History and Studio Art, city in Scotland, with 1.7 million
exhibited works at every major student exhibition for four consecutive residents in 142 square miles.
years at Rice University.
A compelling account of the life of Will Vasquez's desk at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in

The Fine Art of Teaching Teachers

HOUSTON, Texas- interest of young children.
If delivering fifty of each course
A short month out of university, over a calendar year weren't
the MFAH's Department of daunting enough, he also had
Education snapped Vasquez to quickly improvise and learn
up and hired him as a full-time to operate the backbone of
programme coordinator and each project; for each
part-time art teacher. programme, he was either
For the next two years, partially or wholly responsible
Vasquez continued to develop for the accounting, grant-
along the lines of his writing, publicity, programme
university studies, researching materials, registration,
each major exhibition opening statistical analysis and public
at the museum and delivering response, catering, event
educational courses for local photography, finding and hiring
teachers and short studio lecturers and artists, and
courses for children. This whatever else was necessary
position exercised the limits of for the event to run smoothly.
Vasquez's university education By the end of 2001, he had
Over 10,000 Houston-area teachers from various
and his internship experiences, nearly mastered the moving
disciplines attended the MFAH's teacher workshops as he not only had to know the jigsaw puzzle that is event
and conferences, gaining valuable insight into the exhibition inside-out, but had to coordination, opening the way
museum's collection and how to use it in their somehow relate its content to for more events and visitors to
classrooms. Vasquez helped turn these successful teachers of various disciplines
programmes into Distance Learning Programmes in the museum.
2001, so educators far away could also take part. and grab and maintain the

In his two fruitful years in the time and money, but made it children with special needs. By
Department of Education, possible to promote events more the end of his term at the MFAH,
Vasquez developed an integrated often and more than doubled the his salary had been boosted over
departmental accounting system, attendance of some of his 10% in response to his devotion
introduced a mass email list to programmes), and published an and accomplishments there and
replace the previous post-only illustrated arts curriculum he was encouraged to take over
publicity (which not only saved developed to help integrate the Programmes for Families

Curators, Dealers and Railroads, Oh my!

With all the academic and Away from home, he took on roles
museum work under Will in busy warehouses and
Vasquez's belt, one might assume stockrooms. Vasquez worked the
that he's most comfortable behind dock of a plastics factory near
a desk and unaccustomed to Baltimore, Maryland, overseeing
doing the dirty jobs most people deliveries, compiling orders, and
avoid. Don't be fooled by his maintaining the stock of the
credentials – he once worked on international plastics supplier,
the railroad...all the livelong day! Fypon. In his early twenties, he
took on night-shift stocking jobs at
Before moving to Houston for two of America's largest super-
university studies, he took on a markets to help fund his university
number of physically challenging studies.
jobs. Vasquez started out
shoveling fertiliser for a chemical “Experience with tough manual
company in a small rural town in labour is by no means a pre-
Texas in his early teens. He requisite for your typical desk job,
worked long days helping his but if I were an employer, I would
family harvest crops, delivering think that a candidate with that
hay bales to local ranchers, and type of history would go the extra
swinging a sledgehammer to mile for my business,” Vasquez
restore sections of railroad. concluded.
Business & Arts
LzDz Custom Longboards coast
from Coast to Coast...and beyond!
By the summer of 2003, Will Vasquez Heartbreaking as it may have been,
had more projects on his hands than the timing couldn't have been better
he could successfully manage. He for his art or his co-op business.
was working ten-hour days during the With Chris Walla, a recent graduate
week and teaching on weekends for with an engineering background,
the museum, going hard on his art in and his roommate, an accomplished
the evenings, and laying the surfer and skateboarder, Vasquez
groundwork for a potential new set up LzDz Custom Longboards.
business venture on his meal breaks. We developed and manufactured
When questioned about how he dealt custom longboard skateboards that
with his workload at the time, mimicked the experience of surfing
Vasquez said, “It was a heartbreaking on pavement. “The boards proved a
decision that had to be made. I felt hit with the Gulf Coast community
that all of my projects and work would and later further afield - L.A...then,
suffer if I didn't take a few irons out of New York....we even received a
the fire, so I decided to leave the picture postcard from an overly
museum to concentrate on my art From Vasquez's LzDz notebook satisfied (and daring) customer
and new business.” sketches to rolling artworks. “surfing” the streets of Paris!”

To Everything, Turn, Turn, Turn

At LzDz Custom Longboards, A short few weeks after
Will Vasquez provided the completing the project in the
artwork and designed series of summer of 2005, with all loose
logo applications that graced all business ends tied neatly,
the boards to come out of the Vasquez saw the opportunity to
workshop. He continued work on move back to Scotland to marry
his studio art to help keep the and be with his sweetheart. With
business afloat during lulls in familiar determination, he sold
sales. With his gallery contacts his lot, furniture, car, and all, for a
and experience at hand, he one-way ticket to Glasgow and
managed to keep his head above has never looked back. He set
water selling his studio work from up a studio in the flat he shares
his flat in downtown Houston and with his wife in Partick and
over the Internet. In 2004, he continues to paint and search for
began work on a year-long museum work.
commission from Rice University
to fill its graduate
Vasquez's remixed propaganda piece, pub, Valhalla, with
“We Don't Need Another Hero” (2006). an entryway mural.
In the beginning half of this year, artwork with museum security
Vasquez managed to shell out guards, who undoubtedly spend
works of quality that quickly more time with the work than the
found homes, in a private curators and sometimes, even
residence and at Gallery 23 near more than the artists
Glasgow's city centre. Despite themselves.“
his early flickers of painted
success here in Glasgow, he n The goal for Vasquez now is
hopes to re-enter the arts to find his niche in Glasgow's art
community with a position at one community, and establish
of the city's many art institutions. himself like he's done with every
“I don't think you have to be in a other challenge or academic
position that requires you to opportunity before, whatever the
study artwork to be able to derive cost and with a sincere passion
a rewarding connection to the for his work.
piece..or the community itself,” If you can give him that inch in Vasquez's “Reflection on Empire” (2006),
said Vasquez. “I've had the most the door, he's reward you to the a scene from the doorstep of Glasgow's
brilliant conversations about horizon. Call 0 141 339 7405. own Gallery of Modern Art.

AG: Why do you want a part in what

Glasgow's Museums do?
WV: I've helped raised livestock and crops, from seed
to market...stocked market shelves with the products I
once brought in...and no doubt, it's rewarding to feel
part of a most necessary cog in the structure of our
civilisation....but nothing gives me more pride and
happiness than finding a way to help someone access
artwork and treasures of their forefathers. It's like
rubbing the eyes of a newborn, and realising you've
been witness to a key moment in their spiritual and
intellectual development. I've grown to love Glasgow,
the city and its people, and would be overjoyed to help
to nurture its growing arts communities. Vasquez with his wife, Marion, in “The Contents of
Twelve Dowanhill”, which he painted this year.

AG: What qualities do you possess that would

make a potential employer want you on their side?
WV: Top-tier leadership and teamwork, and a number of the
qualities that help make projects successful – for example, taking
the initiative...when everyone else stands around, creative and
improvisational problem solving...when the unexpected falls on your
lap, and dedication...when the faint of heart wilt and walk away. As
the captain of a football team, I learned that being respectable
beyond reproach, listening to all my teammates, and encouraging
pride in all their roles made a winning team. I've carried those
lessons forward in every position I've held since, whether I led or
supported the effort from behind. Apart from that, being raised to
be a friendly and courteous southern gentleman makes me
someone employers look forward to seeing every day at the office.
Will Vasquez looking typically quizzical during the interview

AG: If someone from Glasgow's museums

is reading this interview and has
questions not answered in this paper,
how would they get in touch with you?
WV: They can call me at 0 141 339 7405, e-mail me at or write a letter and post it to me at
12 Dowanhill Street, Glasgow G11 5QS. I'm quite
approachable and eager to answer any questions they
might have about me or work I've done in the past.


• Vasquez fills post at one of Glasgow's fine
cultural institutions
• Management responsible for Vasquez
appointment receive kudos from community
One of Vasquez's exhibited paintings from his
early university studios, “Everlast” (1999)