The Planning and Curation of an Art Exhibition

Planning and curating an Art exhibition takes a lot of work and dedication. However, it takes much more work than we think and imagine. From layout planning, to distribution of lighting, setting up an exhibition takes a long process in order to look professionally executed.

As an MCAST student, every year an exhibition is held to display artistic works developed within the same year. It is our role to plan and curate the exhibition. This year, for the final year exhibition, as a BA (Hons.) Fine Art student, the exhibition will showcase art works connoted to each dissertation study. Hence, the execution of the set up of the exhibition needs to be very well manipulated.

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Starting from presenting each student’s theme and aim for the final piece, one had to be very well aware of every individual’s subject and space needed according to the piece. Each presentation had to have details about: Theme, Material of final piece, Material needed to present the piece, Measurements of the piece and Costings. By having these instructions of each piece that is going to be exhibited, one can start directing the curation. During the same time, each student had to start developing the idea into actual artworks and marketing the exhibition has to distributed at least a month before the date of the exhibition.

The curation started from creating a digital layout plan on Sketchup, using the exact measurements of the place.  Art works are then transformed into digital works using the right dimensions. Within a team, brainstorming of themes and ideas had to be discussed. Each room has to be divided according the theme of the art works. However dimensions of the piece have to be kept in mind. One also has to keep in mind the flow of the visitors; a circular path is the ideal flow of a space. Walking inside an exhibition space and all you see are a clutter of works placed together or blank walls, are both a clear indication that the curation was not well managed.

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A well executed exhibition space has to have enough space for people to go round, well lit space and has to compliment the specific work, art works are set up properly and walls should be clean and coloured according to the art work. After planning out the layout, setting up is the next step. Starting from dismantling the space, within a team, every year, the space has to clear out. The walls are then either re-painted or new partitions have to be set up, stocked and painted. As one can imagine, this takes a long process of time. Finally, art works are then hung, placed and set up.

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