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August 1, 2012
Curator by day–artist at night. I’m often asked if my visual art practice influences my curatorial work. This overlap plays out in the current exhibition at Station Gallery. The show is titled Fictionary. The idea behind the exhibition came out of a personal interest in drawing and narrative. These two modes of expression and how they intersect with lens-based media, like film or photography, are explored in my own work.
Fictionary features four artists who are similarly interested in storytelling as expressed through the drawn medium. Dani Crosby (Oshawa), Jay Dart (Port Perry), Larry Eisenstein (Toronto) and Christophe Jordache (Montréal) are phenomenal storytellers with a deep devotion to the drawn medium. This is why I’m keenly interested in this quartet. My respect and admiration for these four artists comes out of how their individual studio practices differ from my own. Their reference points are not overtly influenced by films and photos. Rather, Fictionary is a site where creativity, free-range narrative and imagination align. Crosby, Dart, Eisenstein and Jordache celebrate the inherent exuberance in visual art. It’s a spirit that pre-dates film and photography. It’s as ancient as drawing itself.
Let’s continue this conversation on the third Thursday of this month. Join me on August 16th at 7pm at Station Gallery for a free curator’s walk & talk. Fictionary continues until September 2.
April 5, 2012
For the past five weeks the gallery has hosted visits from grade 7 and 8 classes with Meryl McMaster’s photography show titled In-Between Worlds. Today is the last session. For each class I shared a little about my role as a curator. I’d begin with the question “What does a curator do?” Responses from the young participants usually included words like “pick” and “choose” what goes on the gallery walls.
The selection process is one part of a curator’s job. Some other aspects include:
- maintaining a gallery or museum’s collection
- research & interpret a collection or temporary exhibitions
- document and administer exhibitions
- write labels, catalogue essays and other supporting materials
- visit and correspond with exhibiting artists
- design and arrange exhibitions
- plan future exhibition programming
- arrange packing and transportation of artworks
- deliver public talks, present research and publish articles
- co-ordinate publications and catalogues
In closing my chat with the students, they’d ask what my favorite part of being a curator is. After of moment of thought, I’d reply: “With every show you learn something new. What can be more rewarding than expanding your horizons?”