What's On Your Phone, Sharon Vatsky?

Sharon Vatsky is Director of Education at the Guggenheim Museum, where she supervises School, Teacher, and Family Programs and oversees the development of curriculum materials for Guggenheim exhibitions in New York and Bilbao. Sharon also teaches graduate courses in museum education at the City University of New York (CUNY) and Teachers College at Columbia University. She has taught college-level courses in drawing, painting, art history, and arts education. She is the 2008 recipient of the Charles Marshall Robertson Award, which is presented annually to an educator “who has made a significant contribution to art education.” AMT Lab Contributor Zaijun Wu recently talked to Sharon about her favorite apps.

Zaijun Wu: What are the apps you use every day and why do you like them?

Sharon Vatsky: Most of the apps I use are related to travel. I have a fairly substantial commute and park in a different place every day. So I use Voice Memo to record where my car is parked. If you don't live in NYC this may sound peculiar, but I have a colleague who needed to walk the neighborhood for 2 days to recall where she left her car. I also use New York Subway’s map when I am not driving.

I travel a bit for work – some of it international, so I find Google Maps, Uber, TripCase and XE Currency useful. TripCase helps me organize flights and XE is a currency exchange app. 

Besides travel, I use Health’s pedometer to track my fitness data.

ZW: Is there an app that surprised you with its usefulness?

SV: Flashlight. It is crazy practical and useful.

ZW: Is there an app you think developers should be working on?

SV: I just received an email from a social practice artist and friend Sol Aramendi who is involved in a project Apps for Power. The project is about developing an app to help immigrant day laborers fight wage theft and report abusive employers.

Also, an app that would be helpful locating discontinued underwear. I have the name already: Underwhere? Oh maybe an app that would alert you when the meter maid is in the vicinity.

ZW: If you could recommend one app to arts managers, what would it be?

SV: I find myself referring to the Guggenheim’s app a lot, but that’s because the info is relevant to the exhibitions and programs I work with. Some nice recent additions are Multi Media guides for kids and Verbal Descriptions for visitors with visual impairments. However, websites and publications are more useful to me for keeping up with artists and exhibitions.