Week Two: Process Statements & Leah’s Talk

Last week we spent Tuesday going over the process statements we had read for homework, from the 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 Showing/Thinking catalogs. We, as a class, divided the statements into categories of thought (scholarly, storytelling, conversational) and approaches (duration, language choice, directness). We observed that humanities professors tended to write more poetically and with more metaphor than science and math professors, who used simpler language and were more concise. Reading nineteen process statements served as wonderful practice when we received the statements from our assigned participant for this year’s catalog. I was assigned Bridget Roosa as my participant, since I know her well from dance classes and performing with Studio Dance Theatre.  I felt better equipped to make commentary and add suggestions on her statement, because I could tell what makes a process statement engaging and helpful for the viewer.

Thursday’s class was spent mainly with Leah Owenby, the Manager of the Dalton Gallery. Her presentation was incredibly helpful as an introduction to what we should expect when putting together Showing/Thinking and as an introduction into the life of an art professional. Leah used the upcoming Sophia Wallace show, “Clitical Thinking”, as an example to teach us about everything that goes into putting together an exhibition. “Clitical Thinking”, funded by the Bonnie Brown Johnson Women’s Health Lecture Fund, is a collaboration between the biology, art, public health, and women’s studies departments on campus. Sophia Wallace is a Brooklyn-based contemporary mixed-media artist, who is most known for her series entitled “Cliteracy”, which focuses on bringing awareness to the female clitoris through art. One of the most important parts of bringing an exhibition to campus is budgeting cost. Leah outlined all the various expenses including, but not limited to, flights, lodging, art transportation, meals, ads in local publications, and installation fees.

The job of a Gallery Manager seems extremely daunting, yet satisfying. After this class period I began considering this as a career I may like to pursue; like Leah, I am somebody who works well in this type of setting, which may seem chaotic to others. I find it easier to concentrate when there are many threads to follow, that culminate in something incredible and inspirational. This week felt fulfilling, and gave me a glimpse into what the rest of the semester will look like – specifically, how we will be working until Showing/Thinking opens.


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