images from the Gallery's collection

MAG Homepage

Main menu:

Site search



RSS Feeds RSS Feed

How We Put Up “What We Draw”

Lauren CaslerBy Lauren Casler, Creative Workshop Intern

February ’09’s show, What We Draw, in the Lucy Burne Gallery was a complete learning experience for me, which was exactly the experience I was looking for when I started my internship at the Memorial Art Gallery’s Creative Workshop. Our work began on this drawing show shortly after the Creative Workshop’s Jewelry & Ceramic Faculty Show opened, as Managing Director Rachael Baldanza shared her ideas with me, and we put out a “Call to Artists” the first week of Creative Workshop winter classes.

As soon as artists began bringing their work in I started the “checklist.” Because this Excel document includes all documentation of the artists and art included in the show, it is the most important tool I used to put the show together. As art filed in during the 3 weeks before the show, I documented specific details such as who the art belonged to, how many pieces they submitted, its medium, a description, and the artist’s contact information. Not only did this assure that no work would get lost or forgotten, the process was useful to help me familiarize myself with the work and see themes that would later help in hanging the show.

February 3rd was the day to hang the show. We started the day with a number of unknowns, and a realization that more would arise. I began by focusing on what I knew: I knew I wanted the figures and portraits over by the jewelry studio, the ceramic sketches by the entrance to the ceramic studio, and the children’s work on the wall heading into the classrooms. With Chris, from the Memorial Art Gallery‘s facility crew, to help us hang the work, Rachael and I looked for ways to display the kind of drawings coming out of the Creative Workshop.

My first step was to distribute all of the art into the Lucy Burne Gallery. It was a relatively quiet day in the Creative Workshop with little traffic, which allowed us to lay the work out on the floor to see how the work looked in the space, and for final hanging decisions. I had divided the art into categories (profile/nude/figure, still life, landscape, ceramic sketches, and kids work), but I still had many questions about how it should be ordered and hung within those categories, as well as how much work would physically fit on the walls. There were also a number of art works that fit into multiple categories; these I hoped to use as transition pieces. Out of the 167 drawings submitted, we were able to fit 108 drawings on the walls.

Cotton JiangRachael taught me to look at the darkness and lightness of the marks in each work in order to balance what drawings look best next to each other. Valerie Cotton’s John Lennon sketch (at left), with light thin pencil lines, for example, would have been lost next to the dark, strong lines in Yuan Jiang’s Untitled (at right) charcoal drawing of a woman, because of the large difference in their marks. The size of each drawing also effected its placement on the wall, as larger drawings needed more space on the walls than smaller drawings which could be grouped together.

As this was my first attempt at hanging a show, Rachael both challenged and encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone. All of the hard work has proved worth it to hear the glowing responses of students, artists, teachers, and staff. Their responses also measure the success of What We Draw at being a community-wide show. Bob Ross, a long time student at the CW, said that by “not including ages [on labels], it allowed instructor, student, and child to all be compared on the same level.” He was awed by the great diversity of work in the show, and loves to see the way other artist’s interpret differently from him.

What We DrawWhat We Draw is up until February 26th, so I hope everyone gets a chance to come out and see it.

Open February 16th-21st 9-5pm; 23-26th 9-9pm

Write a comment