“Current Student Work 2021” is on view in our Messler Gallery through May 26, 2021. Featuring the work of this year’s Nine-month Comprehensive students, the annual exhibition is an important part of their professional training – for most, it is their first experience being part of a gallery show. We invite you behind the scenes to see what goes into creating the exhibition.
The show features work that Comprehensive students have made since the course began in September. Preparation started in earnest in February, when Gallery Director Victoria Allport met with the class to outline expectations, present a timeline, and cheer everyone on. In March, Lead Instructor Tim Rousseau and Executive Director Peter Korn reviewed finished pieces and works in progress to select entries with demonstrated quality in design and craftsmanship. Each student has at least one piece in the show.
Students then signed standard exhibition contracts describing their responsibilities and the deadlines they needed to meet. They also supplied technical information about their pieces and written artists’ statements. Victoria uses this material to generate exhibit labels.
In the meantime, the Center’s Facilities Director, Mark Juliana, took formal studio photographs of exhibition pieces for use on our website, in press releases, and on the exhibition announcement postcard.
The week leading up to the opening saw a swarm of activity. Victoria dismantled the previous show and packed it carefully for return shipping. Then, in consultation with Executive Director Peter Korn, she set the show up. Once the final arrangement of the work in the gallery was determined, participants in the Center’s Fellowship Program put fresh coats of paint on the plinths, after which the facilities staff hung wall pieces and set lighting. Finally, Victoria removed old signage and installed new exhibition labels.
Most years, when large gatherings are possible, the Center hosts a public opening that draws about 150 guests, including students’ families and friends. Everyone has the opportunity to admire the work, have a glass of wine and some hors d’oeurves, and talk to the makers. Students may merely bask in the glow of admiration for a job well done, but some also use the opportunity to market their pieces.
Inevitably, as the evening wraps up, Executive Director Peter Korn mounts a stepladder to welcome the crowd and congratulate students on completing a rigorous course of study that will fuel their creative spirits for years to come.
We invite you to stop by Messler Gallery before May 26 to view “Current Student Work 2021.” Or, no matter where you are, you can visit the exhibition online and watch each student introduce their own pieces on Instagram. Either way, enjoy this video introduction by Lead Instructor Tim Rousseau.