The Unbearable Lightness of Curating

As the installing date and exhibition deadline fast approach of The Unbearable Lightness Exhibition (opens at BAYARTS)  on June 8th, I must tell you just how enjoyable curating exhibitions has become for me. It is an absolute extension of the buzz of endorphins I receive when I make my own work. Assembling a group of people who work in various disciplines and corralling their work to make sense in a space is the ultimate challenge. Themes must be open and lofted enough so artists solicited can grapple with new ideas for the work they anticipate to present.  This proposal for The Unbearable show was made last June. 

Often times, artists circumstances change and the nature of what they made when first asked, shift and wobble. It is the curators job to check in on artists and cheer them on throughout the months leading up to the show. So communicating throughout  the year and updating artists through studio visits, emails and other meetings is par for the course. The curator is like an encouraging coach and is the representative that supports the individual artists intentions and profiles their work in the best light. We are the behind the scenes representatives who prep the artists for the  BIG GAME.

I have curated many shows at my home field, Zygote Press, but it is wonderfully refreshing to make a proposal in a space that is new to me.  My own negotiations and decisions can be in limbo and the tango of moving works, finding their correlations with other works in the show, is the most rewarding part of the experience for me. Curating allows you to see something meaningful come together from nothing. It organically grows out of the trust of the artists you have selected for the show. I find personal satisfaction to include artists whose work I know “fits”, gets into the soft spot of the crux and angle I am going for….and the other positive, is that artists included are so stinkin appreciative to have the opportunity. 

The curator must be the go between for the exhibition venue coordinators, supply the PR to get other people to the show, and drum up excitement for the artists they have chosen. Bios and statements are submitted and presentation decisions and installation become the moment of truth to how the show is going to flow and how people will navigate through the physical space.

All this minutiae can keep you up at night so  I am so happy and excited as the show draws near.

Please grab a friend or a few friends, and come on out to the gorgeous BAYARTS campus on June 8th from 7-9pm  to see this great round-up of mid career and emerging artists works. Profiling them in this show is an absolute joy for me and it is a pleasure to present them in their best (and most Imageunbearable) light.

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