Staff Spotlight: Mara Sholette
This week on the blog, we continue our Staff Spotlight series with Mara Sholette, Visitor Services Assistant!
How long have you been at the Gibbes?
Since December of 2018.
Describe your role here at the museum.
As Visitor Services Assistant, I work at the front desk and the store, depending on the day. I assist customers in admissions, retail, and general inquiries about the museum and Charleston. But my favorite part is helping display new merchandise! It is so exciting to see the new items and find a good home for them in the store.
What brought you to the Gibbes? Tell us about how you ended up here! One of my favorite memories from my childhood is coming to the Museum with my 3rd grade class from Spann Elementary in Summerville. I remember being just overwhelmed by the beauty of the artwork and thrilled by the history of the pieces. This really helped to spark my interest in history, which would lead me to become a trained historian. After deciding teaching wasn’t where my heart lies, I wanted to get involved in a museum in any way possible, in order to be surrounded at all times by beauty and a love for knowledge. It was pure luck that led me to stumble upon this position!
What is your favorite work in the collection and why?
Oh gosh, can I pick the entire miniatures collection? Because I am pretty sure I can’t pick just one. I love how delicate and detailed they are. The features on the sitter are so refined and it just astounds me the talent it took to make these.
Tell us about an interesting project you’ve worked on.
I had the privilege of working on the Society 1858 Winter Party, where I got to check in guests at the entrance. It was thrilling to see all of Charleston’s best and brightest in one place and schmooze with the guests. And aside from that, the food was delicious!
Besides the Gibbes, where do you take friends and family for the quintessential Charleston/Lowcountry experience?
I come from a very big, very Irish family, so the first place I take anyone to is Tommy Condon’s, Charleston’s most popular Irish Pub. (The Shepard’s Pie is delicious! Or for lunch I like to get the Bookmaker sandwich—who doesn’t like roast beef covered in beer cheese?) Some of my favorite tourist activities include going to McLeod Plantation, walking the Market, watching dolphins off the pier at Waterfront Park, wandering the historic cemeteries, and popping into the antique stores all down King Street. And of course, if the weather is right, swimming at Folly! Though my boyfriend always tries to argue that Sullivan’s Island is the superior beach, Folly has a soft spot in my heart because that’s where I grew up going to the beach every summer with my parents.
-By Mara Sholette, Visitor Services Assistant and guest blogger
-Published August 9, 2019
-Top image: Mara (left) with Trish Thacker, Visitor Services Coordinator, at the 2019 Street Party!