A few Mount Allison students will be able to add ‘exhibition curator’ to their resumés after this semester. Several exhibitions, curated by students in the University’s Curating Art seminar class taught by Fine Arts professor Anne Koval, will be opening on campus and in Sackville on November 28 for the week.
One of the exhibitions, The Reliquary, curated by third-year students Grace McLean and Mary Scott features art and artifacts from the University Archives as well as work by current students. The official opening will take place on the ground floor of the RP Bell Library (red carpet) on Tuesday, Nov. 28 at 7 p.m.
“The idea for the exhibition was loosely based on the concept of holy relics in churches, connecting the past with the present,” says McLean. “We wanted to trace some of Mount Allison’s past through the lens of students who were here.”
The exhibition includes several unique artifacts from the University Archives and artwork by current students Braden Chetwynd and Sara Camus in response to some of the items.
McLean and Scott both discovered some surprises when exploring Mount Allison’s Archives with University Archivist David Mawhinney, whose help they say was invaluable to their project.
“There are some really unique items in the Archives,” says Scott. “Annie S. Inch’s (graduate of the Mount Allison Ladies’ College) wax flower wedding bouquet was one of my favourite discoveries.”
Professor Koval says the course aims to give students hands-on experience with curating and museology.
“We’ve watched these projects grow and evolve over the course of the semester, I’m looking forward to seeing the final results on November 28,” she says. “I’m also thankful to our community partners, such as the University Archives and the Library, for their assistance in providing these experiential learning opportunities for our students.”
Both McLean and Scott say the project has provided important first-hand knowledge around curating an art exhibition.
“You don’t know how much work goes into curating a show until you have to do it,” laughs McLean. “It’s been a valuable process to learn.”
The Reliquary is one of several curated shows by the class which will be on display at various locations on campus and in Sackville the week of Nov. 28. Other class projects include:
Familiar Presence: A screening of short videos by Catherine Bussiere, curated by Angela Thibodeau and Runa Nishiyama. (6 p.m., Nov. 28, Library Theatre, Mount Allison); and
Play Dead: Group Exhibition of 11 artists including Andreas Forbes, Brenna MacMillian, Evan Furness, Hailey Dunphy, Izzy Francolini, Keven Melanson, Logan Milne, Lucy Kosha, Meagan Chaput, Nick Despres and Savannah Harris (curated by Logan Milne, Shauna Gass and Nicholas Despres), also opening Nov. 28 at 9 p.m. at Thunder and Lightning on Bridge Street.