Monday, November 14, 2016

The Exhibit Continues - 'Cooks in the Kitchen'

“Well, right now there are too many cooks in the kitchen.” It’s an expression my mom used to use anytime we were underfoot, but when I reflect upon what we’ve done so far curating the Schön exhibit, this phrase came to mind. This semester there are three students enrolled in Museum Studies Practicum; you might think that this would make things easier, with fewer differing personalities trying to come to a singular point of view. In fact, at times I’ve felt the opposite was true. Not because we couldn’t come to a consensus, but because we all want to create an exhibit that Ms. Schön will be proud of.
Picking the artwork, writing labels, discovering histories, creating a tri-fold, designing the exhibit space, making a catalog, and being considerate of a living artist’s work, all while keeping it in the framework of this year’s theme of metamorphosis; it’s quite an undertaking. With so many tasks to accomplish in a relatively short period of time, not to mention no previous experience in this area myself, for perhaps the first time in my collegiate career I feel a bit like a fish out of water. Thankfully, both Lee and Amanda have made for wonderful classmates, and I feel that each of us will continue to support each other’s weaknesses with our strengths. We have gotten along well, and even from the beginning we had a similar concept in mind for how the exhibit should look and feel. Those times when there has been contention, it has been discussed and debated to resolution to everyone’s satisfaction, and those times when there’s been a lack of direction, someone has come through with a solid idea or concept to continue the push forward.
As we pass the halfway point of the semester and head towards the winter holidays there is still much to be done. We need to draft the tri-fold, finish labels, design the catalog, finish object histories, and even after all of those things are done, we need to design the physical space within the Carney Gallery. Arranging and grouping sculptures, deciding on wall hangings, lighting design, painting and prep work, and crafting a flow to the exhibit are all still part of the process as well. However, I feel confident that we have the right group to make this project a success for Ms. Schön and for Regis.

Thinking back to the idea of too many cooks, maybe less is more in this case. Although I value the input and consensus of a large group in a major undertaking such as this, perhaps when the group is small but works well together, maybe that is the better way to get things done. 

-Brad Moore

Friday, October 14, 2016

Exhibit Planning - The Work Continues -

Hopefully, if you have read Lee's blog post, you know that we are working with Nancy Schön who is perhaps most famous for her work Make Way for Ducklings. The exhibit we are working on is very different from anything else Nancy has done before because we are going to use pieces that have never been seen before by the general public.

This week we are working on gathering information on the different pieces that we intend to use in our exhibit.  We have divided the 35 pieces that we plan on using into groups so that we can start working on individual labels. During our last visit with Nancy (with her permission) we recorded the stories she told about various pieces; we are now digging through that audio to figure out what we will be using from her stories, and what else we need to know. Nancy is a great storyteller, but it is a good thing we were able to record our second visit!

We have been to visit Nancy twice now. The first time we visited she showed us around her house and pointed out all the pieces we could use.  After this visit we discussed which pieces we wanted for the show and then we went back for our second visit. Go back the second time we had a much clearer idea of what we wanted to ask.  It was really cool having her show us pieces that she made when she was younger than us and how accomplished those pieces are. The one problem we are encountering is that of human memory; Nancy has created so many pieces that sometimes she cannot be precise about the particular year in which she created a work, especially for those pieces she has not exhibited. Our labels will need to reflect that in some way.

We are planning a get together sometime in early November for the Regis community to introduce you to the exhibit and get the public interested in both the theme of our exhibit which is metamorphosis but also to let people know about the artist. At the event there will be activities for both children and later in the day adults/students. Please pay attention for more information on the event.  Also please spread the word about both the in November event and the exhibit which opens in the spring semester. 

-Amanda-Elyse Cutter

Monday, October 3, 2016

New Semester - New Exhibit Planning - Working with Nancy Schön

This year students from Regis College have the honor of working with artist Nancy Schön to design a unique exhibit. Students from the Museum Studies Practicum course are working hard to create a memorable experience for visitors to the Carney Gallery. My class’s involvement in the process began in early September, on our first day of the course. All of us were familiar with Nancy Schön’s most famous sculptures, but we took the time to familiarize ourselves more with her work. Our class also began to look into the history and process of wax casting, which is not something any of us had prior experience with.

After looking into Schön’s work, our class began to look at our exhibit space and attempt to come up with an early sketch of what we wanted the exhibit to look like. Since no pieces had been selected yet this was a difficult process, and our early plans have mostly been discarded. This exercise did however serve to familiarize us with our exhibit space.

Shortly after this we made our first visit to see Nancy Schön’s work in person. It was a fascinating experience. We got the opportunity to see sculptures from throughout her career, and were able to see pieces still in the development stages. We left her home filled with new ideas for how we could approach this exhibit.

Our theme for the exhibit is "metamorphosis", which is the Department of Humanities theme for this year. Our current plan of approach is to design an exhibit that shows Nancy Schön’s work throughout her life, and which gives the audience a look at how art like Schön’s is created. It really is a fascinating process, and we truly hope that our audience will be as excited about it as we are.

New sketches for our exhibit have been created, and we are nearly decided on which sculptures we intend to display in the gallery. We have become more familiar with the resources we have available to us, and with the layout we want to create.

Next, its back to visit Nancy Schön and her amazing work! In the meanwhile, here is a link to her website: 

-Lee Campbell 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Carnival Celebration!

As part of this year’s learning and teaching theme on “Masks”, the Department of Humanities and the Heritage Studies program will host a Carnival Celebration on Tuesday, February 9, 6:00-9:00, Lower Student Union. The event is planned for Tuesday, February 9th when “Fat Tuesday” is celebrated in New Orleans’ Mardi Grass, the most famous carnival celebration in the United States. Students and faculty will deliver presentations on the origins and history of carnival in countries such as Brazil, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Cape Verde, Colombia, Mexico and the United States. Presentations will be followed by a celebration that will include customs, dance, music, ethnic foods and drinks.

This event is being organized by students and faculty in the Department of Humanities, the Heritage Studies program and the student organizations LASO, CVSA and SOCA, and is made possible through a Regis Co-Curricular Grant. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Exhibit Update - Headed to the Finish Line

For the first time earlier this week our class was able to visit the gallery where the exhibit about masks and Spirit Boards from Papua New Guinea will be displayed. It was an incredible moment, to stand there and visualize exactly what we want our final display to look like. 

Several months ago, on our first day of class, we were told that our semester long project would be to design an exhibit around a selection of artifacts that were housed in the Regis College Library. We knew nothing about them except that they were from Papua New Guinea. Weeks of research followed, trying to identify what our objects were, who made them, and what they were used for. Now, after so much work, we have begun to finalize and edit our exhibit labels, put together our brochure, and design our exhibit. 

This week we ran around from detail to detail, trying to perfect our project. We now know what our exhibit will look like, what it will teach, and what sort of takeaway we want our audience to have. The planning stage is starting to come to a close, as we put the final touches on our design. Soon we will be ready for the installation stage, and then eventually for public viewing. Watching the exhibit pieced together from a vague idea to a solid game plan has been an incredible experience. 

-Ashley Campbell, Museum Studies Practicum

Monday, November 9, 2015

Have you ever? (A Museum Studies Practicum Update)

Have you ever sat in front of your computer screen and just could not come up with a single idea for a project? Well, this is the exact feeling that I received this week in class while trying to make a brochure that would be visually appealing for the public to see. In the Museum Studies Practicum class here at Regis College we have just began the very beginning stages of putting together a museum brochure for our exhibit about the Papua New Guinea Masks and Spirit boards that we have here on campus in our library.

Brochures are very important to the museum/exhibit experience because it is like a brief, detailed advertisement of what the viewer will be coming to see when they actually come to the exhibit. This is one place, other than a heft exhibit catalog, where museum staff have the opportunity to create something tangible for viewers concerning the exhibit. As a class, we are trying to create a brochure that will stand out, and be different from the typical standard museum brochure that people usually see, maybe don’t read, or even throw away. We as a class are trying to create something that makes a statement within itself, that will make those yearn for more than just the brochure but actually want to come to the exhibit once it is up and running.

Have you ever saw a museum brochure and said to yourself; that you just have to go to that exhibit because of the intense experience you had with the brochure? Well I have. One museum brochure that stood out to me was from the Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC). The brochure had an image of a woman sitting in an exhibit room, and she was sitting and looking at a painting that was right in front of her. What stood out to me was the painting that the woman was looking at, and it made me feel like I should be sitting there next to her admiring the painting with her. This is what we are aiming for as a class, to get our brochure to stand out and make the viewer have their own experience with the brochure so that they will then attend our exhibition and fulfill their expectations of the exhibit, and allow them to take a piece of that exhibit experience away with them when they leave. The goal the museum studies practicum class is trying to achieve is to have our viewers experience this “has you ever moment”. That would ideal! 

by: Mia-Michelle Russell, graduate student, Heritage Studies Program

Monday, November 2, 2015

Meanings of Masks – Event Follow-up

On Monday, October 26, our Museum Studies Practicum class hosted our event called the Meaning of Masks that ran from 4:00-6:00pm in the Library. Each student in our class had brought posters that spoke about topics that related to the meaning of masks. The Humanities Department also joined us in contributing to this event in bringing their own posters. Dr. Ortiz and her class made an altar representing the Mexican festival called Day of the Dead or Dia de los muertos. The posters ranged from different topics such as comparing the use of masks today with the use of masks in Papua New Guinea, relating masks with Halloween and its history behind wearing costumes that day, comparing Papua New Guinea masks to ancient past masks, and unmasking the myths of AIDS. We also had a snack station with plenty of candy and a mask making station where anyone was free to make their own masks. 
Many visitors dropped by to our event such as professors, students, and even the Director of Undergraduate Admissions. Everyone enjoyed themselves where they learned about the various topics based on this subject of masks and its different meanings. Later in the event, we also had the pleasure to have some of the children from the Children’s Center come by and decorate their own masks. Not only did the children enjoy decorating their own masks but many students and adults also joined them in decorating their own. The event was a success and there was a lot of excellent feedback. Meanwhile, this week we will continue in building up the exhibit and we will now be focusing on the brochures and the layout of the exhibit. 

 -Susana Ortega, Museum Studies Practicum