For Freedoms – Opens Soon

Work in Progress

Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, Alabama

September 8 – November 18, 2018

More information can be found here

 

I’ve spent the past few weeks co-curating a small exhibition about historic and contemporary freedoms and rights. The BMA’s exhibition is a partnership with the artist-run For Freedoms, a super PAC working to utilize art to build greater participation in American Democracy. I highly enjoyed combing the permanent collection for works that speak to both the current and past status of minority rights.

We use these works to probe how freedom was historically restricted for people of color in Birmingham, and how freedom has changed today. We ask: How has freedom changed? For whom have rights changed? For whom hasn’t it changed? A component of the exhibition is a response area where visitors can display their feelings and reactions to the exhibit and these questions. The BMA has also produced a small voter guide and links page on our site to assist with navigating voter registration. Personally, my voting poll has changed three times in the last year. The registration process is confusing. We hope that making distilling this information will prompt civic engagement.

Installation is later this week, and the exhibit opens to the public Saturday, September 8th. Be sure to stop by!

Goodrich Internship – First Rotation Complete!

Work in Progress

As the Goodrich Intern at the Birmingham Museum of Art, I rotate every three months between the Registrar, Education, Development, and Curatorial Departments for a year. I am coming to a close at my time with the Registrars and will shortly move to Education. However, I am very pleased to announce that, in addition to my duties as the Goodrich Internship, I will continue to work part time as a Registrar’s Assistant on a project I begun as the Goodrich Intern.

Fundamentally, I am digitizing the exhibition archives, begun in 1951, for public access. On a more detailed level, I am going through each archived exhibition record, which could have anywhere from one to three hundred pieces of paper, to pull out important information. At the same time, I am writing the standards for the digitization of the records, so that any future work on the archives will remain consistent. I am trying to find the who-what-when-where-why’s for the digital database: object checklist, contracts, dates, brochures, catalogues, press releases. Often, I will only have a letter to prove that an exhibition happened. Sometimes a file will be super thick, but after reading every page, I find that the exhibition was canceled.

I’ve processed about 350 records spanning the years 1951 to 1965. The Birmingham Museum of Art managed to exhibit about three shows every three weeks when the Museum was initially housed in Birmingham’s City Hall. At this point in time, all correspondence was done via letter or telegram, so I can find the chain of logic through all the correspondence, usually after some note taking. My memory is also key – often the files are unorganized, or a piece of paper will be put in to the wrong iteration of an annual exhibition – and I have to recall which show the paper belongs too. Sometimes a file labeled as a single exhibit is actually two or three distinct exhibitions. Furthermore, if I make a change to the workflow standards, I have to update any previously-digitized files to be in line with the new standards.

The best part of my day is when I find installation photos – standards were simply different. When the BMA first exhibited its Kress Collection of European Art, the paintings were hung against green velvet. I can’t wait until the files are public access through the Museum’s website – everyone should see those green velvet walls.

Approximate Knowledge – solo show installation

Work in Progress

Things have been busy, busy, busy. I have been installing my first solo exhibition at the 121 PopUp and Collaborative Studio in Montgomery, Alabama. My relationship with the gallery director, Becky Miller, developed when I was featured in the Mentor & Protégé group exhibition in March of 2017. In two weeks, I will be giving an artist talk and leading a workshop for the advanced art students from Trinity Presbyterian School, who sponsors the space. The reception for Approximate Knowledge will be Thursday, September 28th at 6pm. See you there.