There are many unsung heroes of the art world. They are artists, but also curators and gallery directors. They spend countless days and hours, organizing information, gathering research, negotiating with artists, applying for grants, executing exhibits and juggling budgets - while also trying to create their own work to share with the world. They exist between the duality of producer and creator.
It is the creator that will be celebrated with the first fine art exhibition of the season at West Kentucky Community and Technical College (WKCTC) titled, A Curated Life: Mediations Between Art, Objects and Ideas.
Curators/artists participating in the exhibit are T. Michael Martin from Murray State University, Stacey Reason from Yeiser Art Center, Debi Henry Donaldson from Murray Art Guild, Landee Bryant Greene from Maiden Alley Cinema, Grace Eckert from University of Tennessee-Martin, Alison Erazmus from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Katie Waters from University of Southern Indiana, Kristina Arnold from Western Kentucky University and Katie Boatman from Belmont University.
A reception for the show will be held Friday, September 15 from 5-7pm at the Clemens Fine Art Gallery located on the WKCTC campus. A panel discussion will also take place during the reception where several of the exhibiting artists will talk about what it means to be a modern curator. The public is encouraged to ask questions of the panel during this discussion.
A Curated Life: Mediations Between Art, Objects and Ideas runs through October 13.
Art curators have an eye for staging artwork in a way that creates interest in an exhibition. "To be a curator today requires multi-tasking,” said Todd Birdsong, Technical Director at WKCTC’s Clemens Fine Arts Center. “We are responsible for a collection of art, selecting art to be displayed, organizing art exhibitions in galleries as well as unconventional or public spaces and researching artists. We have to be highly organized, knowledgeable, a proficient writer and passionate about art and the art we exhibit."
As much as art consumes their lives, curators also manage to fabricate, fashion and forge personal work. "The contemporary curator is no longer a mere caretaker or overseer of art,” Birdsong told me. “They are artists in their own right creating narratives, communicating relationships and translating ideas for the rest of us to experience. They provoke, question and realize ideas as artists while existing in a limbo-like state between art and curation - a difficult place to be considering that without the curator, there could be no exhibition."
For more information about the exhibit or about the Clemens Fine Arts Gallery contact Birdsong at 270.534.3220.