GLAM Center for Collaborative Teaching and Learning - Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library

Behind The Scenes ~ Appreciation of the Curation

“My intention is to translate materials into imagery that will stimulate people to consider themselves as part of the environment. Art should be a dialogue with viewers.”

– Chakaia Booker.

I have been to many museums and exhibits. However, this was my first time curating an exhibition. Curating this exhibit has given me access to the artist and an insightful perspective that I would not have otherwise gained simply by viewing the work. Moreover, curating allows one to have the sentiment and experience of intimate engagement with the artist and their work. I enjoyed deeply researching and learning about Chakaia Booker. She is an amazing artist and her life earned pearls of wisdom translate beautifully into her craft. And just as her skill and work take time and dedication, it was my intent to harness that same attentiveness and care into this exhibition. Doing this allowed me to participate in the dialogue that Chakaia Booker speaks about so heavily.  

As I was doing my research on Chakaia I became just as intrigued by her style and personality as I am with her art. Most of the time, I am so eager to take in and explore as much of an exhibition as I can. This causes me to glance at labels and descriptions briefly. Being that my attention would be focused on the artwork, I miss a lot of the context and detail of the work. However, through this curatorial process, I have slowed down in a way that I would not do normally as a viewer. Because instead, I was the one creating the labels, context, and descriptions of the work at hand. This type of project demands attention to detail and thoughtfulness in a way that viewing an exhibition does not require.I enjoyed curating as I also had to consider the experience of the viewer. Therefore, I inputted the aspects that I would appreciate as a viewer all while enjoying Booker’s work in the process. I really got to relate to and appreciate the deliberate artistry of Booker. I believe that is a key component that is sometimes misunderstood and overlooked as a viewer. We sometimes do not comprehend the weight behind the purpose, visual evidence, and contextual analysis that the artists dedicate to the work.