I'm A Museum Person

I’m A Museum Person: Adam Rozan

Photo by zigazou76 via Flickr.

My name is Adam Reed Rozan, and I’m a Museum Person.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am a Marketing Manager at the amazing Oakland Museum of California (OMCA). I have the honor of living and breathing art on a daily basis. But that’s only part of the story. I live in San Francisco and I’m highly involved with the arts community in the Bay Area. I run an arts project called Broken Meter. It’s a full-color, full-bleed ’zine and a celebration of city life—more specifically, urban decay. I think of it as a visual recording of the activity, movement, and energy of the urban environment.

Broken Meter is the misspelled sign, the street preacher, the converted U-Haul cardboard trucks, recycled cans and bottles, the graffiti tag, the covered-up graffiti tagged, the re-tagging of the original piece. In short, it’s everything you’ll find in a natural urban environment seen through the eyes of artists.

Why do museums matter to you?

Museums are special places. They provide a connection with our past and our future. They are the keepers of our culture, and the intersection where we come to share ideas, talk, play, and dream.

What is your favorite museum memory?

When OMCA reopened in April, we hosted an online statewide conversation on California. It was held during the reopening party, and the social media staff members from all of the Bay Area museums as well as the Stanford Mobile Phone Orchestra joined in. We even had museums from as far away as Berkley and Los Angeles contribute. Through the shared hashtag #California we were able to cultivate a conversation between these institutions and thousands of online participants. It was a very powerful experience to be able to connect so many people.

Photo by Loren Javier via Flickr.

Which museum would you love to visit?

My next trip is a weekend in Houston, so certainly the Rothko Chapel. I’ve never been there, but it’s been recommended to me as a place of deep reflection and inspiration. Another museum high on my list is the Menil Collection—not only do the outdoor gardens look amazing, I would love to see the installation of rarely exhibited canvases by Mark Rothko that are closely related to those he painted for the chapel.

Photo by M Glasgow via Flickr.

Outside of that, any opportunity I have to go back to London or Paris to see those cities great museums would be amazing.

I do have a rule for any trip I take. It’s my goal to visit a new museum—especially if I’ve never been to that city or town. With every new visit, I discover something to build out my visual library. It’s a priceless experience.

What is your dream museum job?

My dream job is the Curator of Audience Development and Engagement. It’s an integrated position that strives to increase participation and interactivity with the exhibitions and permanent collection, both in person and online. Museum staff members need to find new ways to engage visitors, and transition our institutions into an active, regular presence in the lives of our audiences. Call it a museum 3.0 approach—the position and the person in it should evolve continuously, something the museum experience is doing already. My dream role takes all of these factors into consideration and seeks out alternative inroads to collections, exhibitions, and museums themselves; ultimately the Curator of Audience Development and Engagement opens up new, innovative experiences that visitors can have in a museum.

When you think of the perfect exhibit, what is in it?

Instead of a perfect exhibit, why not consider a perfect gallery or overall museum experience? Live music in the galleries in the afternoon, adult backpacks with supplies, coffee and Wi-Fi areas, book clubs, yoga … I guess what would make for a perfect experience overall is one that was lively—not whispering in a gallery where you can hear a pin drop.

Who is the funnier museum twitterer…@SUEtheTrex or @NatHistoryWhale?

The answer is option C, the tweets from our Gallery Guides. They’re really funny. Our in gallery staff members use iPads all day at work, so they also tweet through the @oaklandmuseumca handle. Their wit makes them worth checking out.

What is the most random item you have bought in a museum gift shop?

Does a metal cowboy pin from the VMFA store count?

What museum would you move into for a month if you could?

I remember reading a children’s story in grade school about a group of friends who ran away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, so I would have to say the Met.

Out of all the museums you have visited so far, which one is your favorite?

Great question, but one that’s very tough to answer. I’ve had so many amazing museum experiences at so many different museums that I’m not sure I could answer that definitively. I can say that I always look forward to going to a new museum, and the opportunity to go back to one that I haven’t visited in a while, especially if it’s a trip with good friends.

What is the most bizarre museum you have ever visited?

Bizarre in what way? I live in San Francisco! On Market Street, near the Civic Center is an enormous storefront window with what seems to be an odd movie display for some lost or ancient land. The sign says “Superb Art Museum of America,” and is formed in foam rocks. You can’t visit the museum, but I imagine that it’s pretty bizarre.

Photo by frontenddeveloper via Flickr.

There seem to be a million books and movies set in museums. Do you have a favorite?

The Thomas Crown Affair, but really any movie that set in a museum, I’ll go to.

2 Responses to “I’m A Museum Person: Adam Rozan”

  1. Sketch Tuesdays: The Museum Toilers Edition | Jeremyriad | Jeremyriad on June 26th, 2013

    […] night’s session was curated by Adam Rozan and dedicated to “museum toilers by day, artists by night. The Museum Edition is featuring […]

  2. Sketch Tuesdays: The Museum Toilers Edition | Jeremyriad | Jeremyriad on November 26th, 2014

    […] night’s session was curated by Adam Rozan and dedicated to “museum toilers by day, artists by night. The Museum Edition is featuring […]

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