Sophie Hirabayashi, Assistant Director of Fine Art, was born and raised in New Orleans. The daughter of local painting conservators, Joelle and Tetsuo Hirabayashi, she spent her childhood surrounded by the finest examples of American and European art. A graduate of Metairie Park Country Day School, Hirabayashi attended Vassar College where she studied French and art history. Post-graduation, she spent time in Paris working at the International Transport Forum, a branch of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and immersing herself in the art of France. Upon her return to New Orleans, Hirabayashi joined the Education Department at the New Orleans Museum of Art and served as a vital link between the museum and the community. Provided with a rare opportunity, she then moved to New York to spend five years working closely with renowned French conceptual artist, Bernar Venet. She managed his studio in SoHo, working closely with the artist and a small international team to coordinate exhibitions, publish catalogues, and launch his foundation.