In years past, I would go to student art shows and say "cool" or "oh that's interesting" as if I'm a soccer mom attending her seven-year-old's art showcase. It's definitely unjust of me to put the two contrasting age groups into one category in terms of skill level, but at the time, I couldn't help it. To me, there were only the two categories of professional and etc. After setting up my own exhibition, however, I've come to appreciate the thought process of an Art V student. It's more complex and considerate of materials and space. Rather than focusing on the art work itself, I find that the presentation holds just as much value as the portfolio.
What would you do differently if you had the opportunity to do it over?
After my show, I really began to appreciate how space was utilized. If I could do it all over again, I would put more time into creating a certain tone with my decor and displays that match the theme #Wholesome.
If you had unlimited time and resources, what else would you have done to complete your show?
I probably would've brought it to a different exhibition area. Maybe I'll rent out a space at the Visual Art Center of Richmond to make it more convincing. Something about a school setting almost degrades the art to me (refer back to soccer mom example).
What was the overall value of this experience for you?
I'm the type of person who gets in her head a lot. If someone tells me something is hard, it'll be near impossible to convince me otherwise (totally irrational). This was the case prior to actually setting up my show. People told me how hard and stressful it was going to be, but I really enjoy managing and developing a concept/experience so it worked out for me. This exhibition has given me a lot to talk about and connect with my past experiences like the workshop at VMFA about exhibition design.
How could this process be enhanced for future Art 5 students?
I think it would be fun if the senior art show had more boundaries. It sounds counterintuitive, but treating the show like a Chopped competition where each person randomly picks a challenge such as an X amount for budget, or X amount of time to complete their show. I think it would be appealing for kids to push themselves rather than having overwhelming free reign.
What means did you use to promote your show, and how might you have promoted the show even better?
I promoted it on my instagram with piece features and witty stories to reel people into coming. I also had a last minute commercial made which I found to be ineffective (overall, I find ads on the morning announcements to be pretty useless), but it was still something. I think if I had the show as a secret where people don't know what to expect, then they'll be reeled in out of curiosity.
How do you feel about the labeling system you used for the work on display?
I was rather proud of myself for the labeling because it was easy and sustainable. At first, I had tried to cut out the label the same size as the cardstock, but it was extremely tedious to cut it in a perfect size. Also, some chunks couldn't be sanded off. I ended up cutting the labels into a size bigger than my card stock and wrapping it. The edges were clean and professional.
What setbacks did you have to face, and what could have been done to remedy them?
I really didn't like how my artist statement printed out before it felt too small. I think it would've been interesting to paint the words on the wall but I would run the risk of uncleanliness and time consumption. My 4x6 promo card also printed on photo paper rather than cardstock; it wasn't a big deal, but if it were on more sustainable paper, then that would be ideal.