28 Jul

Who Curated That?

The term curated has been appropriated recently by trendy shop owners, restauranteurs and others so that every collection of clothing, jewelry, furniture or food is now “curated” just for you. Professional curators have degrees in art history to help them select art and determine how best to preserve, store and display objects. They can spend years putting together exhibits that involve complicated arrangements with museums or collectors around the world.

The rest of us have to curate shows more quickly, as time and other commitments allow. Sometimes the artist chooses what to exhibit. Sometimes the gallery owner or person showing the art has a preference. I’ve experienced everything from people suggesting what not to show (usually nudes, a classic art subject) to avoid offending their clients, to requests for local scenes, to being given free rein.

For my current show at St. Francis they wanted larger (they have lots of wall space) and more soothing paintings, since the gallery is in their wellness center. I interpreted this to mean fewer high energy cityscapes with people, and more quiet scenes which are still full of color, but calmer in feeling. Working in tandem with the person running the gallery, we curated the show in a day – and I hope you enjoy it!

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