The Museum is excited to welcome Tisha Rhodes back to the Museum family in her new role as Director of Development. Before leaving the Museum in 2014 to pursue an opportunity in private business, Tisha spent 17 years as the Director of Services. For the past two years, Tisha served as the Public Affairs and Development Director at the Family Sunshine Center. Tisha grew up in a military family and moved to Montgomery in junior high school. She has been married to Jason Rhodes for 26 years, and together they raised a daughter now starting her first year of college.
What drew you to art?
My parents did a great job of introducing me to the arts as a young girl, and I continued to be interested as I matured. I studied art in college, and in 1997 at the age of 25, I jumped at the opportunity to join the MMFA team.
What brought you back to the Museum?
I returned because of my love for the institution and a mission that strives to enrich, enlighten, and bring enjoyment to people’s lives through art.
What is the best thing about working at a museum?
I get to be around art and collaborative people who feed my spirit.
What is the biggest change at the Museum since you last worked here? What has not changed at all?
The biggest change is the leadership. I spent 17 years working with Mark Johnson, which I will always cherish, and now I have the privilege of working with and learning from Angie Dodson. The thing that remains constant is the spirit of the creative people who work for the Museum. I love the energy!
What is your favorite work in the collection?
I adore Kelly Fitzpatrick’s work because of the Southern regional subject matter and the amazing colors. I am lucky to have one of his paintings—one of my favorites—Alabama Foothills, hanging in my office.
What do you want others to know about the Museum?
I want locals to know that the Museum has free admission and that art is for everyone. With our great permanent collection, ArtWorks, and the John and Joyce Caddell Sculpture Garden, there is something to pique all interests. I want people outside of the area to know the MMFA has one of the finest collections of American art in the Southeastern US, and a trip to Montgomery is not complete without a visit to the Museum.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I think people see me as an extrovert because of the work I do and have done for 20+ years, but I am an introvert—peace, quiet, and alone-time energize me.
Why do you feel art is important—for individuals, families, communities?
Art introduces perspective and allows people the opportunity to achieve that perspective. I love the quote by John Lubbock, “What we see depends mainly on what we look for.” Perspective is key to one’s experience and art can be a catalyst for that outlook.
Do you have a favorite story or memory about the Museum?
One of my fondest memories is the 25th Anniversary in the Park Celebration Reception and the excitement that was in the air. It was such an exciting time with the Sculpture Garden on the horizon and so many monumental moments from the past 25 years in the current building to celebrate. There are terrific pictures that capture the joy of that evening.