Jessica Liss

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Walking the Line

Brown Craft and Design Guild Student Works Sale


Curating Presentation

54th Venice Biennale - ILLUMInations

Curious Proposition

Public Possession



Amidst the diversity of ideas and collaborative culture of our fourteen person class, I had the opportunity to be part of the curating process that generates a vision and ultimately produces the thought provoking subject matter exhibited for the interested public. I was able to discover for example, why certain artwork is included or not included in a show, how a show's idea or theme is born and the relationship between the artwork, the exhibition space and the viewer.

This project allowed me to experience all dimensions of the exhibition-making process. I was responsible for the selection process. We received over one hundred pieces of work from both undergraduate and graduate students at Brown and RISD. In a single three hour class, we as a group were charged with the task of narrowing down work. In the end, we showed work by twenty-two artists ranging from video to drawing to sculpture. As the curators, much discussion revolved around whether or not we ought to have a theme for the show. From the outset we decided not to limit ourselves to certain conceptual or thematic ideas and in that regard, we did not place any restrictions on students when we asked them to submit work. Given no successful theme emerged during our class talks, we decided to let the individual works function on their own. I think had we allotted more time for the submission and selection process, which most of the class felt was necessary, we could have came up with a way to tie the pieces together and focus the exhibition more.

In addition to the responsibilities described above, I helped with a variety of tasks including communication with artists, installation and the closing reception. The placement of objects within The Cohen Gallery and The Granoff Center as a whole took a great deal of time and experimentation. With installation, we deliberated for example, where certain pieces should go, how one piece interacted with another, how the exhibition looked aesthetically to the pedestrian walking by peering inside the gallery space, and how to connect the works in the Gallery space to the videos on the landings and the string installation housed in one of the project rooms. 

Overall, I really enjoyed curating this exhibition and look forward to applying the skills and lessons I gleaned from this tremendous learning experience to future endeavors and especially, to the quickly approaching Walking the Line Project. 

Please find the online exhibition catalogue here: 

Art of Curating class reviews submissions for Granoff Exhibition.
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