The McNay Art Museum announced this week that it has brought on R. Scott Blackshire to succeed Jody Blake as the new curator of the institution’s Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts.
Dr. Blackshire brings with him a wealth of real-life and academic experience: he recently graduated with a PhD in Performance Studies from The University of Texas at Austin, and prior to that, he earned undergraduate and master’s degrees in opera performance. His time as a singer included stints performing with opera companies in the United States and the United Kingdom, and he was a featured soloist when the Round Rock Symphony presented Beethoven’s Choral Fantasia. Dr. Blackshire’s other jobs have been varied, and have included academia, overseeing a private art collection, and directing a children’s charity in Cambodia.
During his time in Austin, Dr. Blackshire championed artists who put energy into their communities. He helped conduct a survey that took stock of the city’s attitude towards the arts, and also advocated for access to healthcare for artists through a collaborative proposal for mobile clinics. He has also presented at and helped organize numerous other events, including SXSW.edu, the PAVE Biennial Conference on Entrepreneurship and the Arts, and the Association for Theatre in Higher Education’s annual meeting.
Richard Aste, the McNay’s director, noted that Dr. Blackshire’s advocacy for social justice will help inform the museum’s programming:
“Dr. Blackshire is a community-driven artist, educator, and scholar. His training and practice embody the Museum’s dual commitment to artistic excellence and social impact. We are therefore thrilled to welcome Scott as only the third curator of the McNay’s renowned Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts.”
And Dr. Blackshire said of his appointment:
“I look forward to creating dynamic and collaborative exhibitions that reflect the diversity of San Antonio, and demonstrate the McNay’s continued commitment to socially conscious initiatives and installations. I am honored to uphold the Museum’s mission to engage everyone in the enjoyment of the visual arts through museum experiences inspired by the celebrated Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts.”
The McNay’s Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts is comprised of maquettes, set design drawings and models, costume designs, and other related objects. To see examples of pieces in the collection, please go here.