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Saturday 31 October 2015

Holding an Exhibition

Last week my MA group had an exhibition in Sailor's Home, Limerick. This was my first ever experience of opening an exhibition. There were lots of new skills learned that would be so useful when having a classroom/ art group exhibition.

Firstly there is the role of the curator. The curator is hired by the museum/artist to hang the art. They decide which pieces go where.

The Space:

First of all the space you are hanging the art in will determine how you hang it. If there is a noticeboard or maybe the shape of the wall. The colours of the background affect this also.

Choosing the Work:

If you are holding an exhibition with the children, you could let them look at their work and pick their 5 favourite pieces. This is important so that they are happy and confident about the work that they are hanging. Some may need encouragement and guidance. 

Then get the children to look at where they are displaying the work.

Notice the colours, shapes and feeling of the room. 

At this point, ask the children to reevaluate the work that they have selected and now to pick 3 from the 5 favourite pieces that may suit the space. This was a really hard lesson for us adults. Some people felt so passionate about certain works and may have put hours into them, but they just weren't right for the space. 
Encourage the children to keep thinking about the space and how the work will look in the space. 
The 2 works that are now left out of this exhibition may suit the next one. Keep them in a safe place as they are still favourite pieces of work and hold just as much importance.

Hanging the Exhibition:

At this point compare the work for common themes.

Maybe two children have paintings with the same type of theme? They may complement each other in the 'gallery'. 

Or a big bright messy style painting may need to be hung alone so as not to take from others.

Together, place the work and discuss why you hang pieces in certain places.
The children will feel much more connected to the exhibition and will now feel ownership of it. 

This may be a great activity to do with the class for an open night in your school. As always, I'd love to hear feedback.

This was a real eye opener for me! I hadn't experienced this process before. It has definitely changed the way I see an exhibition. You really appreciate all the work that goes into a gallery set up!! :) 

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