Tuesday, April 6, 2010

How to Prepare for a Senior Art Exhibition

Guest Blogger: Emily Kern, artist & OVAC intern

You have worked hard for four long years, in some cases five, six, ten or more years (some of us just can’t get enough education), and now it is time for your Senior Art Exhibition. You have been creating a body of work that is finally going to be seen by others, and you are going to be expected to write about and speak about it. If you find yourself facing the inevitable moment this semester then there isn’t much I can do but wish you good luck. However, if you are one, two, or ideally three semesters away from this blessed event I think I can help.

• First, get settled on a concept for a cohesive body of work. Look at tons of other contemporary artists, and do extensive research on your subject matter. There is no such thing as too much information.
• Then, start generating your work. Not everything you create is going to make it to the final cut. You need to make, at the very least, twice as many pieces as are expected for your exhibition so that you have plenty of room to edit.
• Now you need to start preparing an artist statement, a statement about the content and formal choices in your work. This will help you as you are forced to make formal choices in creating your work. The clearer you are about what you want your work to be about the clearer your formal choices will be.
• The best way to prepare for you senior show, other than making as much work as possible, is to enter other shows. This gives you deadlines for completing work and pressures you to take care of any framing and display issues that need to accompany your work. It also will allow you to see your work displayed, which often lets you see it in a new light, bringing forth things you never noticed before that might need to be tweaked or changed all together. The more shows you can enter the better. The best scenario would be to land an exhibition that allows you to show multiple pieces or your entire body of work. Momentum Spotlight is just such an opportunity (by the way the deadline is May 5th).

Suggestions continued tomorrow...

Kern’s work is a graduating Studio Art major at Oklahoma State University, and her senior exhibition is on display at the Gardiner Art Gallery on the OSU campus in Stillwater, OK until April 9, 2010 open weekdays from 8 am-5 pm. The other artists in the exhibition are: Lacey Jade Schultz, Chelsea Dudek, Heather Chadwick, Hali Linn, Mallory Replogle, and Rachel Marks.

Top: Mallory Replogle, "This is How I Disappear"
Bottom: Jade Schultz, "Apraxia"

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