On Thursday, November 21 at 2 pm (EST), Michael Dickins presented on the campus plan he has devised for the New Gallery at Austin Peay University.
Faced with limited storage space on campus, Dickins started a program (with strict parameters) to share the permanent collection with the campus community, while also creating an educational opportunity for Austin Peay students. With the permanent collection at their disposal, Dickin’s undergraduate student workers curate exhibitions to hang in department spaces.
For each exhibition, students write a curatorial statement, labels, and record an audio guide segment for each work that visitors can access through the app, Guide-by-Cell.
In his presentation, Dickins shares images of the finished exhibitions, and, as an open book, shares his trials, tribulations, and successes he encountered while running this campus plan program.
Benefits of this program, according to Michael Dickins:
- Gets artwork into public sphere instead of hidden in storage (which ours is not large enough to house our collection)
- Allows for academic buildings to look less ‘institutional’
- Artwork only goes in spaces accessible to the public (NOT offices) – as it is a collection at a public university and needs to be accessible to the public.
- Artwork gets installed on OUR schedule as myself and assistants have other duties.
- Gives students experience in curating, installing, labeling, cataloguing in database, art handling, etc. – plus writing a curatorial statement.
- This informs the occupants of said space that this is a teaching/education opportunity and not just decorating.
Michael Dickins will be presenting at CAA’s Annual Conference on Wednesday, February 12: Is that Unprofessional? When Artists Curate, alongside our September Coffee Gathering host, Meredith Lynn.
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