Diary of a Curator (14)

201MC Professional Experience

I’m so sad the exhibitions over, its been a huge success and was so much fun. However there’s one thing we need to crack on with; working with the community.

Our chosen community was a college in Coventry. We asked more about this college and found that it was a btec class, mostly level 1, but their teacher wanted us to give them some confidence. They apparently didn’t have high ambitions and none of there families had gone to university. So this was something we wanted to focus on.

We wanted to keep things really simple, laid back and fun for the college, particularly because they will be going to another group in the afternoon. We decided to have the first part at the exhibition location and then to take them on a photographic walk back to the university.

When the came in they were really shy, although there were some louder ones. Carys decided that she wanted to take on the lead role of talking, so she introduced ourselves, who we are and what the aim was for our exhibition for example. We all contributed to say what roles we had and the different experiences we’ve had. Next we went round and spent about ten to fifteen minutes talking about our work. This was slightly nerve racking, however, I had been talking to newspapers and the radio the night before, so I did have some clarity in what I was going to say. They we’re still quite but they did ask questions. I tried to focus on what I did after university with my Foundation degree as none of my other team mates did it, and I wanted to try and give the college students as many options as possible. The finally we came back together and started asking the students questions. We asked them what work they were doing, if they had thought of life after college and how they were getting on with their own exhibition. We gave them advice and hopefully we’re inspiring to them.

It was me, Paige, Vickie and Livy on the photographic walk (The other two stayed to take down their work). We set them a task of photographing traces they found within the walk. We took them from the canal to the cathedral as we had planned that this route has a great amount of things to look at and be photographed. It went really quick actually, and on the way the students felt comfortable enough to come up to us and ask us any other questions. When we had reach the final point we got the students together and asked for any final thoughts or questions, and for them to put there work on their blogs that they have so we can look and give some feedback. It’s going to be really interesting to see their work.

Check out Me and Carys talking on the night:

Overall I think we were all sceptical of working with a college, but actually it was so nice to have an impact on people who didn’t think they would be able to aim to go to university. We’ve been so focused on ourselves and our own exhibition that it’s so important to help others and show them that they too can do this. We’ve gained a relationship with them and even been invited to their own exhibition.


Reflection on how the whole thing went from start to finish


In total I’m really happy and proud with how everything has gone. I’ve learned so much in just a couple of weeks. Some skills that I didn’t know I had or I have learned are organizational, leadership and design. I’ve learned that it’s the smaller things that trip you up, like the boards. It was hell but we pulled together. I think, or at least I hope, that I’ve been a good leader. Teamwork was one of my personal aims and I really tried to listen to people and when there was a disagreement between two people I made everyone talk and communicate. I’m really proud that we self funded, I wanted to see how far we could get using our own resources, and we got much more than I thought we would. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help, advice or being cheeky and asking for a lower price! The biggest thing I can take away from this experience is how much enjoyment and self-proudness I have got from it. Its something I’d like to consider doing as a profession in the future. I’m also a lot more confident and I now know that I can do something that is seems so big at first. I can’t wait to be involved in more exhibitions now!


The main things that I’ve learned:


-Created invites- I wanted to use my graphic design skills and also learning how to talk to artists and overs on how to invite them to our exhibition

-Curation- created the idea, learning how to deal with a group, teamwork and how to be a leader

-Organisational skills- making sure we create deadlines, printing, payments e.c.t

-Dealt negotiation, production management, networking

-Self promotion- Creating my own website, headshots and business cards

-Communication- Learning how to deal with people like the venue owner, people invited and talking to the press on the night


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