Toward the end of the 2010 Winter Term, College seniors Anna Poe-Kest and Martha Moldovan were brainstorming ways to gain experience in art curation before they graduated. They decided on the Exhibition Initiative.
The Exhibition Initiative, which now boasts upwards of 20 members, focuses on holding student-curated art exhibits. Because the organization is not part of any institution, its members are given the chance to approach curating art in an experimental and innovative manner while learning more about the logistics of producing an exhibition and promoting art on campus.
Their initial focus was on displaying student art, and their first showcase went up during last year’s Commencement. Last semester the group was approached by the Plum Creek Review with a proposal to produce an exhibit of the little-known “Mail Art” movement.
The success of this show made the two realize the number of different directions their organization could take. While students make up most of their targeted audience, the timing of their shows also allowed them to reach out to community members, alumni and parents.
In addition, the Exhibition Initiative brought the internationally acclaimed artist Roni Horn to campus this semester. Her visit included critiques of four students’ artwork and a discussion of her own work.
Poe-Kest and Moldovan hope that the Exhibition Initiative will continue with annual student shows while seeking different outlets, like putting on non-student-related shows and hosting more speakers.
“I think there is a lot of room for expansion. We’re really open to seeing where this can take us,” said Poe-Kest.
In the immediate future, the Exhibition Initiative is planning a second student art show to open during Finals Week and remain open through Commencement. They will also write a catalogue to accompany the exhibit.