March 2024, Mark Shunney

Mark Shunney is the Exhibition Designer/Museum Preparator of the Anderson Collection at Stanford University. Thank you Mark for your time and talents shared with the AAMG community!

What’s one thing — either industry/work-related or not — you learned in the past month?

How a Sol LeWitt wall drawing is created. I worked with three others to create Sol’s #48 wall drawing from 1970 last week.

What do you value about your membership with AAMG?

The sense of being a collective, and the ability to learn and share from a greater community of people that are in the same profession.

If you could trade places with anyone for a day, who would it be?

Nick Cave (the musician)! I’ve had the opportunity to see him live in Los Angeles recently. As a visual artist, musicians really mesmerize me and intrigue me. Cave’s work connects with his audience deeply and he creates with an amazing intellect. Lastly, his life has presented him with a great deal of tragedy, and I’m inspired by the way he learns from it and channels all of it into his impact as an artist.

Coffee or Tea?

Coffee! It is the great stimulant for the arts and intellect of today.

Book/Author suggestion?

Ai Weiwei 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows

Anyone involved in the Arts should read this book. It brings a powerful and worldly perspective to the world we are living in today in America and beyond.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

I was surrounded by letter presses and cases of type in our basement growing up. So, my inclination was to be a printer when I grew up, just like my father. I ended up printing for two years when I was a young adult, at that point the sense of sculpture pulled me out of this profession and into my pursuits as an artist.

What do you enjoy most about being a part of an academic museum?

The students and programs that happen in a campus environment.

What are your hopes for our industry?

More equitable pay and value in our society! The Arts are composed of a diverse population of talented problem solvers and amazing thinkers. We sadly got undervalued leading up to and in the 20th century. My hope is we advocate for equitable budgets and pay that are in balance with the other parts of our culture and education system.

Bonus: Do you have a favorite joke to share?

I don’t have a joke that comes to the surface, but this riddle has been following me since experiencing September 11, 2001 from my Brooklyn stoop. Here it is:  How can you think of art in these times?