This week our exhibition class attended Spelman College to visit their current Mickalene Thomas Exhibition and learn about curating from Curator of Education Makeba Dixon Hill. The exhibition was a collection of mixed media that wanted the viewer to reconsider the role of the black experience, especially with women. In our brief tour Makeba Dixon Hill explains the layout. Mickalene Thomas wanted to emulate a living room where there is usually a television and a resting place that brings family together. The layout involved several sitting areas in front of a compilation of video clips of black entertainers such as Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, etc. My favorite piece from the show was a short animation where Mickalene Thomas portrays a career oriented black woman that discovers she is pregnant. I enjoyed this piece because it discussed the idea of single motherhood that many black women experienced.
After our brief tour, we were able to ask Makeba Dixon Hill questions about her job as a curator. The questions I planned to ask her were:
- How does she collaborate with artists that may contradict with her vision?
- How does the Spelman Art Department engage with other disciplines?
The question I asked her was the first question because during Showing Thinking while I worked with Mary Cain, she was reluctant to placing some of her favorite books in the show. Her response to my question was to think about what was best for the show because I have expertise that the artist does not have and vice versa. However, Mary Cain was not an artist which made our collaboration more difficult. Overall, I thought the Spelman trip was great and it made me want to look into curation more.