03 October 2014

Gallery Girl

Howdy y'all! It's hard to believe that I am in week six of grad school! Not to mention I've been working my little tail off at Gallery 400 and they've asked if I'd be interested in continuing my glamorous curatorial internship (my words, not theirs). In short, I said yes! Which means all of you Chicago friends should come visit me at work, as in please attend all of our wonderful programming. I'm talking lectures, events, openings, film screenings, performances. You name it, we are probably doing it in some capacity.

In working at the gallery the last few weeks I've learned an immeasurable amount of "stuff." I know, stuff isn't the most descriptive or flowery of words, but there are so many different roles and tasks within the space that my duties change any given day. My first full day of work was the opening for Universal Declaration of Infantile Anxiety Situations Reflected in the Creative Impulse - an exhibition of the work from My Barbarian collective.

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These are the labels I was tasked with installing
When I arrived at work the morning of the opening there was a flurry of activity. Masks needed to be hung, wall labels needed to be trimmed and affixed to the wall, video files needed to be compressed and installed on media players, and lights needed to be installed. My first daunting task was hanging labels, and the amount of precision it took was a lesson in futility. I am now a whiz with a leveler.

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The night of the opening was a smashing success, though there was a moment of panic when our bartender arrived an hour late! An opening without wine, can you feel me sweating as I type this? Malik Gaines of My Barbarian performed a medley of songs from the group's adaptation of The Mother, filling the entire room with music. It was such a wonderful experience working an art opening in which I was a gallery employee and not just a critical visitor!! There was a moment when I looked around the room mid-performance and saw the general sense of happiness everyone felt listening to Gaines sing.

Pinch me.

Some other projects I've been working on include:

  • Completing a final proof of the didactic material for our current show
  • Turning the equipment on and off to open and close the gallery (getting turnt if you will)
  • Making sure the projectors are straight (lordy lord this is also an exercise in patience)
  • Researching artists for our upcoming show (stay tuned!!)
  • Researching and writing wall text (!!!) for the Visibility Machines exhibition coming in January
  • Finding contact information for the artists we are interested in working with
  • Requesting submissions of work from the the MFA/BFA students for our Lobby Competition
All in all, working here has been such a hands on experience. I'm learning an insane amount whether it's through the hands on nitty gritty, or the research I'm doing on diverse contemporary artists. Plus the amount of exhibitions we put on annually means I'll be able to see some of my projects through over the course of the next year. In fact... we have an opening on October 31 for a show I am helping to put together, and you should consider coming!! Also, I'll be facilitating a screening of Art21 on November 5, which you should also put on your calendar. 

To steal a line from Almost Famous, it's all happening. 

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