In the Fall Semester of 2016 I took Methods in Art and Art History, so I am thrilled to be taking Exhibition Processes as the natural progression from that class. I didn’t consider museum work (I did know I wanted to be an art history major) until coming to Agnes Scott, and since last year I have been looking forward to taking a class such as this that combines art historical knowledge with hands-on experience. I am taking this course both as a major requirement and simply for fun; I expect it will be transformative in allowing me to narrow my interests in museum work and will provide excellent experience for a future internship/entry-level job.
The first day we made introductions and went over the syllabus/proposed projects for the semester. During Thursday class, we examined the past five Showing/Thinking exhibits to become familiar with all the components involved (editing participant statements and quotes, a gallery conversation, facilitating photographs of the participants, interviewing, collecting personal objects from the participants, installing the works, and small details such as selecting a color for the exhibition). The fact that our class will have the opportunity to do almost all of the work involved in the exhibit is incredible; I am not sure if this is true, but my impression is that this is not an opportunity that most undergraduate art/art history majors have. I think having art historical knowledge (gained from lectures, books, etc.) is extremely important, but so is being able to interact with the artists and the art involved in an exhibition as well as the public who is there to view it.
In preparation for next class we are expected to have read the essays from previous Showing/Thinking catalogs from the 2012-2015. These include the participant’s statements explaining their work and themselves. Some read like poetry, while others have a clear formula (in reading them I noticed that, oftentimes, the way they are written reflects more about their chosen discipline and personality more than the content of the statement). Reading through these previous catalogs will allow us to better understand how we are supposed to create the 2017 Showing/Thinking catalog.