Light Thickens Group Show

Vyner Street Gallery,London 2-8th May 2011 

The show ‘Light Thickens’ was a group show consisting of art work by ten art students -including myself.It was held from the 2-8th May at the Vyner Street Gallery in the East End of London.

I chose to organise this show in order to get some experience in curating which would also function as part of my Degree course which includes gaining professional experience.

In the weeks before the show the group were preparing art work for the final term of their degree course and I did not want to interfere with their direction in any way.I chose to approach things democratically – for decisions to be made as a  group – I would simply organise and direct things based on decisions made together.

As a first time curator of a London show I think overall things went preety well.In retrospect the biggest thing I learned was that the final decisions concerning what is to be exhibited should be made in good time prior to the show – at least a month in advance.Details such as artist’s statements, fees for participating, dimensions of art works and requirementsfor display should all finalised at least a month before the opening.This would then allow time for the design and publication of items such as  invitations.The printing of artists statements and any texts required to accompany the work could then be arranged allowing time to benefit fromcompetitive printing costs and dealing with any alterations, errors etc.

Having waited until the last moment to see what was actually going into the show I feel that next time I will do things differently.It is probably better to select art work which either fits into a particular subject, theme or specific site and then try to exhibit it in a way which creates some sort of dialogue between the art works.

The Vyner Street show was a good experience though.We were open for the First Thursdays event which involves about 50 galleries in London which stay open until 9pm on the first Thursday of every month.We were able to get feedback from hundreds of viewers from all over the world.Everyone’s work received a good response .I think it was a good way to get both feedback and exposure as an artist.

I have learned from this experience that for a show to run smoothly – the curator needs to be confident about the work being shown and also be able to rely on others invigilating/opening up etc. As curator of a short exhibition you are there to curate and as such probably need to be there throughout the duration.Unless there are people who are totally reliable it is probably best to employ staff to invigilate when you cannot be there.

On reflection, I enjoyed the show and would  consider exhibiting at the First Thursdays event again.It gave me the confidence to go further with curating and I will definately consider putting on more shows with this group of artists again.

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