“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.