Documentary photo of the Mobile Mural Lab youth workshop held during the exhibit’s opening reception. Source: Riverside Art Museum
With a thriving community of artists, art galleries, museums and performance venues, the City of Riverside can most certainly be called Creativity Central. The City serves as an artist’s haven constantly buzzing with an unmatched array of cultural opportunities.
One major hub for creativity in the City of Arts and Innovation are the local universities, which serve as a constant source of young artistic talent. The Riverside Art Museum (RAM) has launched a new pilot program called the Student Curatorial Council, which hopes to connect with this talent base and engage local students with the creative and professional processes involved in curating a museum exhibit.
The following is reproduced from RAM’s press release published in the Press Enterprise:
The Student Curatorial Council pilot program was launched in conjunction with RAM’s groundbreaking summer exhibition, “You Are Breathing In It! Alternative Art Practices.” The Museum’s Curatorial Council has given four locally based students, ranging from undergraduates to PhD. candidates, a firsthand experience working with contemporary artists and curators.
The students have worked alongside museum staff and “You Are Breathing In It!” artists and curator Karla Diaz to plan, execute, and write about their related exhibition programming component.
“This project represents an important step for RAM to better engage our region’s university students in a meaningful way,” says Drew Oberjuerge, RAM executive director. “Not only is our summer exhibition geared towards students, we have created spaces for them to reflect on and expand our programming.”
“We hope that this experience is an important stepping stone in their careers as artists, curators, and art critics. We look forward to continuing this type of project to showcase the talent and intellect of students like these.”
The curators gained firsthand experience writing and editing didactic text; working within a limited budget; coordinating loan forms and contracts; and helping with exhibit installation.
The participating curators are Michaeline Anderson, a Cal State San Bernardino graduate currently completing her masters in Art History at UCR; Lydia Young Ha Kim, a recent graduate of California Baptist University who will enter the Claremont Graduate University in the fall for museum studies; Carolyn Schutten, currently completing her PhD. in Public History at UCR; and Zaid Yousef, currently completing his bachelors at UCR in Studio Art and Art History. (Click here to read the full biographies of the participating curators)
“Working on the RAMSCC has been an intellectual adventure!” Yousef said. “This exhibition in particular provokes an intellectual responsibility to articulate the fundamental core of our practice.”
The exhibition includes documentary photos of the Mobile Mural Lab youth workshop held during the exhibit’s opening reception, curated by Young Ha Kim, abstract enamel paintings by artist-curator Yousef, the Polaroid photographs of Inland Empire-native photographer Theodore DeHart , curated by Anderson; and a sound installation of artist Luz María Sánchez’s “2487,” curated by Schutten.
“RAM is thrilled to be able to offer these young curators an opportunity like this,” says Kathryn Poindexter, curator and coordinator of the program. “We are incredibly impressed with the depth and variation of thoughtful artistic responses that the students have produced to accompany this exhibit.”
The Curatorial Council artwork will be on view in RAM’s alcove hallway, atrium exhibition wall, glass cases, and upstairs mezzanine hallway through Sept. 26.
Unique programs like the Student Curatorial Council promote opportunities for creativity and lifelong learning in the community. This creative culture in Riverside is an important attribute of our high quality of life and helps to establish a diverse and dynamic community for all to live, work, and play.
Read the full August 15, 2012 Press Release from Riverside Art Museum as published in the Press Enterprise.