Thursday, March 19, 2015

So, so cool....

Paint splattered cardboard from  installation
As you know, I've been working on docent training materials for quite a while now, researching, writing, compiling.  These last two weeks have been the culmination of that work.   This week and last, I gave 11/2 hour presentations to the docents about the upcoming exhibition at the KMA -- A Home for Art: Edward Larrabee Barnes and the KMA and Chris Larson:The Katonah Relocation Project -- complete with my script, a Powerpoint presentation, and additional background materials, all gathered in the docent folders.  Of course, the staff double-checked that I hadn't made any factual errors or misinterpreted the art (I'm happy to say they didn't change anything- yippee!), but they also gave me free-rein on what I wanted to write about within a general framework, what pictures I wanted in the presentation, the whole shebang.

It's been an amazing experience.

(1)  I've learned so much.  I've been immersed in topics I didn't know much about, if anything, before this process began, and now I can speak with a teeny bit of authority.

(2) It's great to talk about art to a receptive audience that's as excited about the material as you are. What a rush to stand in front of a group of like-minded, curious people!

(3) I've gotten a bit of a confidence boost that I can do a big project like this.  It's been a while since I had such a pseudo-academic project.

(4)  And, finally, I've been at the museum so much that the Director jokingly called me part of the crew.  The staff has been very gracious about including me in prep meetings and email distributions, keeping me up to speed on what's happening behind the scenes.   And, I get to be a fly on the wall next week during some of the final installation.  I'm learning from consummate and generous professionals.  HOW COOL IS THAT?

My work, however, is not complete; I'm going to be leading all the tours from opening night through the first week.  And, there's the potential for a little public writing about the exhibition.... but more on that if the details all come together.

I wish I could give you sneak peeks and pictures, but I'm sure understand that I can't give anything away.  But I hope you'll make plans for a trip to the museum to see this exhibit, the first one curated by the KMA's new Executive Director, Darsie Alexander, former chief curator at the Walker Art Center.  This exhibition will be open from March 29 - June 28.