Galaudet Gallery's Curating as Art:
Art Exhibitions as Artworks
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Art Exhibitions as Artworks
Galaudet Gallery is working toward realizing art exhibits as artworks. These artworks may become part of a larger collection that is connected through themes, forward motion and practice. Art Exhibitions have a long and wide history with attributes such as scholarship, cultural value, presentation of new perspectives and other such ideas; they function as a nexus for artworks, the public, the art world and artists to meet so that there can be “contemplation, education and, not the least, pleasure.”[i] Forming meaning, creating new experiences, even looking into the past to see the future are other ways of thinking about exhibition curating. This thinking is different than labeling an art exhibit an art installation because these attributes define an exhibition as different. Seeing the practice of curating and the creation of art exhibits as artworks themselves means they deserve a distinctive genre. Singular art exhibits may stand alone as singular artworks; however, Galaudet Gallery is viewing the creation of art exhibits much as the two main curators for the gallery view their own artistic practice as something that is evolving, moving forward and connected to what has been done in the past, is being done today and will be done in the future. It is this connective thread that Galaudet Gallery has been visualizing so that it is clear that each exhibit mounted by Galaudet Gallery is connected to exhibits past, present and future. It is this connection that will push an evolution of the art exhibit forward and allow it to be more fully present in the 21st Century. And as Don Knuth [ii] has said, “Pleasure has probably been the main goal all along.”
Galaudet Gallery's exhibition schedule is made at least two years in advance to prepare artists, museums, other galleries and the public for what will be on offer at any given time of the year. Each exhibit will be connected to Galaudet Gallery's mission and beliefs and will produce a forward motion exploring where fine art is currently found and where it is headed. Our exhibition schedule will also elucidate the idea that a well curated art exhibit can also be an artwork; subsequently, art exhibits can be connected to form an art collection comprised of art exhibits.
Each exhibit will also be connected to a greater plan that will be discernible in blocks of time. So saying, there will be recurring exhibits that will have rotating artworks such as the My Medicine show which reoccurred for four years in a row during the Summers of 2014--2017 and featured Oscar Howe and other artists influenced by him. The current summer art series is called Sense of Place and will be four years of juried shows. Eventually these four year art series will also connect to make a stronger statement about fine art, the act of curating and Galaudet Gallery itself. There will also be an architectural biennial component to honor the two spaces Galaudet Gallery exhibits in and to bring more attention to architecture as art. We see the practice of exhibition creation as an art form itself and to this end find inspiration from such artists like Joseph Beuys's project 7000 Eichen (7000 Oaks). In this thinking, each exhibit can be seen as an individual work of art and as each exhibit is created it is added to a larger collection of works.
There will also be recurring smaller exhibitions that will be displayed alongside the major exhibitions and also be a part of Galaudet Gallery's curatorial artworks. These minor exhibitions will show art like John James Audubon prints alongside artists that he was influenced by and who he influenced, William Blake archival prints alongside artists that he was influenced by and who he influenced. Galaudet Gallery will also show archaeological, historical, political and other types of exhibitions to further our curatorial collection.
American Artist Vicki Milewski will have an active studio in the building and will also be exhibited on a rotating basis in cooperation with the museums, galleries, organizations and individuals who own certain artworks by Milewski. These exhibits will also be a part of the Galaudet Gallery's Curating as Art and may be exhibited in Galaudet Gallery's two locations and others locations as planned separately by Vicki Milewski’s exhibition schedule.
For more information on Galaudet Gallery's curatorial process and their active work to make curation an art form please contact us or check back to this website for further updates.
Vicki Milewski and Mike Milewski, Galaudet Gallery Curators
[i] From What Makes a Great Exhibition? Paula Marincola, Editor 2006 Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative
[ii] Don Knuth is a computer scientist, mathematician, and professor emeritus at Stanford University. He is the author of the multi-volume work The Art of Computer Programming. He contributed to the development of the rigorous analysis of the computational complexity of algorithms and systematized formal mathematical techniques for it. Another quote we ike from Don is, “Science is what we understand well enough to explain to a computer. Art is everything else we do.” Find more at https://www-cs-faculty.stanford.edu/~knuth/
Galaudet Gallery's Curating as Art Examples
The Chakra Wall
from My Medicine Part Four Art Exhibit
Curatorial Statement: The Chakra Wall was the first wall visitors encountered for our My Medicine Part Four exhibit. This wall was the most photographed, talked about and we received many thank-you's to a large Hmong part of the community who are Buddhists, many came to the exhibit more than once to leave rocks and flowers for the Buddha and to look at more art that they said they felt comfortable enjoying. This was one of many outcomes we hoped for in our curatorial work and shows the power art can have to move culture forward by accepting diversity.
Showing from left to right:
C.W. Leadbeater's 7 Chakras Root Chakra on bottom thru to Crown Chakra on top
Vicki Milewski's Phoenix Park Balloon Tree
Mara Svandista's Buddha in the Bhumisparsha Mudra on a handmade table by Chris White, gifted rocks from guests and a brass Om bowl
Vicki Milewski's 7 Ontological Chakras starting with Burloka (earth) Chakra on bottom thru to Satyaloka Chakra (The heavenly paradise of pure Truth)
Taylor Maroney's Emotional Anatomy of Taylor
The Nebula Wall
Curatorial Statement: Our Stars in a New Constellation exhibit was made possible through work with NASA and artists who work with NASA images and ideas as well as professional telescopic photographers and other artists inspired by stellar objects. Symbolically connecting certain exhibit features to the work the Eau Claire Wisconsin community put forth to create and build a new 21st Century Art Center called the Pablo Art Center was something we planned for over 2 years as we watched the art center's progress from idea to blueprint to its opening during this exhibit. The Nebula Wall encouraged community thinkers to envision the next birth of the next step for our community here since nebulas are the birthplace of stars and the Pablo Art Center should be a star that is part of a new constellation.
Eight different nebula's and one star forming galaxy are displayed from left to right top row first then bottom row:
The Eagle Nebula, The Helix Nebula, The Orion Nebula, The North American Nebula, The Crab Nebula,
The Tarantula Nebula, IC 2118 Reflection Nebula, Star Forming Galaxy NGC 604
Badlands Roads Brick Wall
Curatorial Statement; This exhibit was part of a larger multi venue exhibit we curated for the first year of the Chicago Architecture Biennial 2015 which included 3 exhibits and a wonderful day of Artist/Architect Talks at two of the locations. This exhibit was also part of Galaudet Gallery's biennial Forming Function with the title being a play on architect Louis Sullivan's much used phrase "form follows function" which Sullivan wrote to express the importance the natural world should play in our design and art practices. The Badlands Road series above displaying portions of the Badlands Loop Road (Rt 244) through the Badlands National Park in South Dakota expressed the same idea.
Shown above from left to right:
Badlands Road East: Road Like a River Spilling Me Home, Badlands Road South: Going to See Joe, Badlands Road North: The Pink Road (a gentle way to learn the red one), Badlands Road West: Hills Breathing Pink
all by Vicki Milewski
at Euro, Chicago
Curatorial Statement: This image shows another part of the 21st Century Artists Exhibit. This free standing wall was wavy and created some interesting display problems which produced innovative solutions and added another dimension to this multi-dimensional and multi-venue exhibition. As a part of the Chicago Architecture Biennial we utilized their theme of The State of the Art of Architecture by looking at design perspectives inspired by natural forms leading into the Forming Function theme we were working on.
Shown from left to right:
Shawn Vincent's After the Storm 2015 Small, Medium and Large Cells
Joseph and Tomoko Nagle Elder, North Damen El Stop Autumn and Tokyo Bikes
Modern Light Jewelry Exhibit
Modern Light Art Exhibit
Curatorial Statement: These two photos show curatorial decisions in two of the four rooms for Galaudet Gallery's Modern Light exhibit. This first photo shows the decision to show jewelry on black canvases adding to our belief that some jewelry can be seen as artworks. The second photo shows the Bay Room curation which included coupling jewelry inspired by different fruits with U.S. Department of Agriculture Pomological Watercolors created by a variety of American artists working for the U.S. in the late 1800's into the mid 1900's. The third room coupled jewelry made with semi precious stones with the same stones in their raw form and the fourth room contained replica and re-purposed jewelry. This show was in keeping with Galaudet Gallery's stated mission of creating a renewal of an Arts and Crafts ideology with a 21st Century sensibility encouraging the creation, collection, and appreciation of art, craft and what is coming next.
First photo from left to right
Marie Casas's Purple Rain Necklace, Bracelet and Earrings
Vicki Milewski's The Raspberry Necklace and Earrings
Grace Kopenhagen's Dreaming Blueberries Necklace and Earrings
Vicki Milewski's Lucite Sunrise Necklace and Earrings
Second Photo from left to right top
Amanda Almira Newton's Peaches (September 20, 1909)
Royal Charles Steadman's Peach Blossoms (April 15, 1924)
Second Photo from left to right bottom
Monika Riley's Peaches with Trade Beads Necklace
Gary Seenken's Peach Blossom Necklace
Dancing with the Dawn Exhibit
Curatorial Statement: As part of our "Back of Beyond" year we curated two shows inspired by what lies beyond earth. The first was called Dancing with the Dawn which was a play on three large canvases depicting dancers w=bringing up the dawn as well as the Dawn mission to Venus which was beginning during the exhibit. This photo shows our Venus/Moon corner which was one of four corners in Galaudet Gallery's Bay Room that had themes. The photo of Venus and the photo of Dark Matter contrast nicely with the cool image of our moon and the Baule Moon Mask above watches all. These four corners were much discussed by visitors who saw more into them then we had initially curated but it was because of these conversations that we realized the extent to which good curating can make or break a show.
From top to bottom first wall:
NASA images Surface of Venus: Sedna Planitia and Dark Matter
From top to bottom second wall:
Unknown Artist from the Côte d'Ivoire Baule Moon Mask
Astroboyi's image of Our Moon
Dancing with the Dawn Art Exhibit view
Dancing with the Dawn Art Exhibit
Curatorial Statement: Although this photo is dark it actualizes several curatorial decisions we made with Galaudet Gallery's rounded tower in the Tower Room. First we wanted to have each visitor move through the space in a circular way so we placed pieces to accommodate this movement. Then we played with the two collages using the landscape of Ceres with a statue of Ceres by John Storr. We also wanted to highlight the red flame bushes outside and so cut them to show just above the window sill which led many to notice the historical building across the street which has housed the community newspaper for over a 100 years to help with our work in historic preservation and to contrast the future view this exhibit had with themes of space travel, exploration and understanding with how we got to where we are today. The inclusion of the Multiples book was to symbolically represent some sort of control mechanism in case the tower wanted to take off like a rocket ship. Sometimes we have a little fun too!
From left to right
Multiples Exhibit Catalog which is a multiple itself
Two collages of Ceres (Jupiter's Moon) are displayed on either side of a statue of Ceres by John Storrs which draws attention to the flaming red bush outside and a historic property beyond
Byzantine Wishes Necklace, Bracelet and Earrings from Modern Light Exhibit