Curating an Exhibit

While we enter the final 6 weeks of course, and begin racing full speed ahead, I thought I should reflect on our final project a bit more. More specifically, I wanted to take you all on a journey which I call Curating an Exhibit. Luckily for us, we have a physical and digital space. Throughout this blog posting I encourage you to reflect critically on the spaces that we have and think about what aspects of this we can include within our exhibits.

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When curating an exhibit there are many questions that we must ask ourselves. Lynsay did an amazing job highlighting these during our conversation today regarding a design brief.

Who is our audience?

What do we want them to know (when they come to the exhibit and visit our website)?

How can we engage them?

What purpose to they have (and reason) to want to visit our website?

What items will make them want to come to the exhibit?

Who are our stakeholders and how do they influence our exhibits?

Similar to writing a paper, as curators we have an intention which we can call a thesis. This thesis is one that is persistent throughout the entire exhibit. It is an underlying theme or message that guides and influences our work. This doesn’t have to a repeated phrase or even mentioned within the exhibit itself but we as the curators must remember this within our work. This thesis will inspire not only us, but the visitors as well. This can be related to Marc’s question of “how do we reach a target audience that is beyond the notion of ‘people like us’’? If we identify our target audience, we can then identify those who exist outside of it? Why would those people be interested in our exhibit, and how can we intentionally build those ideas into our framework?

In order to truly be successful with this, we need cohesion across all the teams. My role as the project manager to assist with this cohesion. If you are waiting for something and the other team has past the deadline, my job is to help the team and you while we waiting. We must be transparent and trust each other in the different areas.

Here are the list of dates and deadlines that we discussed in class, with a few extras and adjustments. Remember if you are unable to complete a task by the deadline, do not worry! Just communicate and let everyone know.

February 28: Finalized Exhibit Layout (Hard deadline, March 2)

March 1: Design Brief for Website (After reviewing exhibit layout) (Hard deadline, March 3)

March 3: QR Codes (Information on how to make them gathered)

March 5: List of all content required for website (Hard deadline, March 8)

March 8: 3 poster designs created and ready to be printed (Hard deadline, March 10)

March 20: Website Beta ready to launch (Hard deadline, March 25)

March 21: Pamphlet created (based on exhibit and website) (Hard deadline, March 26)

March 22: Exhibit set-up (Hard deadline based on change of exhibition dates)

I will be adding more deadlines to Trello based on the tasks that everyone is completing. Remember if you are unsure please ask, and it is better to overshare than underscore in a group project!

One Reply to “Curating an Exhibit”

  1. Thanks for the little shout-out!

    I really like this blogpost – I never really thought of what we were doing as curating, but that is exactly what we are doing. It is such a good experience for us all to have, especially with us all majoring or minoring in History, even if the project is on a smaller scale than what museums and other exhibits create. Even so, I was not entirely aware of the process and work that goes behind getting everything lined up; everyone is doing such a great job!
    I really wish we had been introduced to the Design Brief at the start of this semester. It raises questions and concerns that I had not thought of and lays out essential points. However, I think it also worked out because we were able to use the Design Brief after having a general idea of what we wanted, so we were able to come up with more direct and concise answers.
    I am a little daunted (still) by being named a Team Leader, however you have made everything very simple and laid out everything for everyone – making sure everyone can accomplish their tasks easily! Getting into our 5th week now, I can thankfully say that the communication has improved immensely, and thankfully, as like you said it is a key factor in the success of the exhibit. I think we are all just so used to doing independent projects and essays that we all forget that it’s okay to ask for help and work together on a group project. Luckily we seem to have got the hang of it (for the most part).
    This blogpost is also a good reminder to everyone that they are not alone in this and that all they need to do is ask! The deadlines are also a good reminder, especially if I can’t find them on Slack quickly.

    Thank you for being such an awesome project manager!

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