Gallery Visits and Wrap Ups

November 7th:

This week we visited the Silver Eye Center for Photography. We were fortunate to receive a tour from the Center’s Education Coordinator, Richard Kelly. Richard is also a very accomplished photographer and is currently featured in the Carnegie Museum of Art’s Picturing the City: Downtown Pittsburgh, 2007-2010 exhibition on display until March. It was wonderful to speak to an artist who experiences exhibition planning from multiple perspectives.

The show at Silver Eye is HomeFrontLine: Reflections on Ten Years of War Since 9/11, a photography exhibition exploring the impact of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This visit gave us an opportunity to compare imprint of war: responses in print with another exhibit of similar subject matter. We found many parallels between HomeFrontLine and imprint of war, and left with a broader understanding of how curators might choose to address delicate political topics within an art exhibition.

November 14th

Our hands-on education continued this week with another excellent private tour, this time by Alison Brand Oehler, Director of Concept Art Gallery. Concept Art Gallery is a commercial gallery, auction house and source for art appraisals.

The Gallery staff had been preparing for an auction later in the week and we got a fascinating behind-the-scenes peek at the organization of this event (as well as an up-close look at some very valuable pieces of art!). Alison also spoke to us about selling art, appraising and how they transition the space back and forth between gallery and auction house. The visit to Concept Art Gallery definitely gave our class some new ideas about types of arts organizations and careers in the field.

November 21st:

The work of exhibition planners doesn’t stop after the show’s opening! This week our class focused on interpretation and education, including the use of visual thinking strategies in programs and tours. We returned to our own University Art Gallery where the interpretation team led us on a brief tour to demonstrate some of the education techniques we were discussing.

 

We wrapped up by completing an exhibition assessment tool developed by Beverly Serrell and a group of other museum professionals designed to assess exhibitions from a visitor’s perspective concerning its level of comfort, engagement, reinforcement, and meaning in hopes of directing museum exhibition developers’ focus on creating more visitor-centered exhibitions. The class discussed which aspects of imprint of war were executed successfully and what we might have done differently. One thing our class could all agree on was that we are proud of the work we accomplished and are delighted to give gallery visitors an opportunity to enjoy such stunning pieces of art.