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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Art Curatorship as a Career Option

By Radhika
Photography: Courtesy the Curator

Myth-Reality, Constructing Cult-u're; 2011

Art curatorial studies are a lesser known aspect of art education, which have been gaining momentum in the last few years.  With fine art in India breaking fresh ground in terms of outreach and maturity, guiding an informed art exhibition rather than merely putting together a show is a field that needs serious looking- into.

Art curator Veerangana Solanki, 28, a Master in History of Art pursued the first Gwanju Biennale International Curator course and has been curating shows for many art galleries and organizations in the city of Mumbai.

Census of Sense 2011 - work Soazic Guezennic

A graduate in English Literature with post-graduate diplomas in Indian Aesthetics and Art Criticism and Theory, Veerangana has made a name for herself as a promising young curator, who is known to present impressive contemporary art exhibitions. She is the recipient of the first IllySustainArt Curator’s prize (2011) and the 1st Annual ALICE (Artistic Landmark in Contemporary Experience) Public’s Voice Award 2012 for best Emerging Curator.

Veerangana Solanki

Although Veeranagana’s are nascent steps into the unfathomable realm of art, which can never really be wholly comprehended or predicted, her role as a successful emerging curator depicts the strength of her convictions, her inward-looking abilities and  her dedication to her subject.

Charwei Tsai, 2011

India Art n Design talks to this young achiever about the lesser known realm of art curatorship:

1.         What prompted you to pursue a career in curatorial practice?
I began by first researching under the guidance of Dr. Saryu Doshi and Mrs. Pheroza Godrej, after which I worked on the curatorial team at Bodhi Art Gallery in Mumbai. Having worked with artists and exhibition display, I could combine research, writing and curating and thereby pursue this further.

The Contemporary Sultanate, Exhibit 320, 2012; work by Zuleikha Chaudhari

2.         After 7 years in the field, what is that one thing you wish you could have learnt as a student, which should have been part of your syllabus?
It is a constant learning process; at every stage, there's always something learnt that one wishes they'd known earlier.

The Contemporary Sultanate,  Installation View, Exhibit 320, 2012

3.         Two do’s that you could share with a student aspiring to pursue art curatorship?
1. Research, write, and know
2. Keen attention to the artist's works and to the audience’ response as a curator

Feminine Recitals, Exhibit 320, 2010; Work by Koumudi Patil

4.        Two don’ts that you could share with a student aspiring to pursue art curatorship?
 1. Overcrowd - less is often more
2. Complicate - it might lose the concept of the exhibition or of certain works

The Contemporary Sultanate,  Exhibit 320, 2012

9 comments :

  1. Regards for this marvellous post, I am glad I observed this site on yahoo.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Appreciate it for all your efforts that you have put in this. Very interesting info.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Most times art cannot be understood by the general public. For this reason the simple presentation of the works in the exhibition is not enough. If the curator will give thorough explanations about the artist and his work, the event will be successful and the audience will approach the painting of whatever nature. It is part of the public education for art

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  4. This is a very nice and insightful article. I agree that too many students are given the mandate "teach, make art, or get a day job" There are many other ways that Fine Art majors can make it in the art world besides a teacher, or the ever more rare case- a full time artist. I chose to go into gallery work, where now I run the exhibitions program of a non-profit space, of which part of my job is curatin shows. Granted, my curatorial work isn't as in depth as most curators, but I still consider a show that makes a social statement over a show that just looks nice.
    Another career option is graphic design. I don't know about other areas, but where I live all the places that have a graphic designer on staff choose Fine Art majors of Graphic Arts majors. I think perhaps that has a little to do with the dogma that the Graphic Arts majors are indoctrinated into by the local university (they all make stuff that looks the same), and Fine Art majors are much more free and open in their design. Also, being a graphic artist affords them time to still persue their own art. Often, if a student becomes a professor, they stop having the time to devote to their own studio practice.
    In response to IAnD's discussion thread: Teaching is a widespread general norm after one completes a course in Fine Art; which are the other art-related vocations that you can think of?

    ReplyDelete
  5. To become a Guild commenend Framer & gallery owner.
    In response to IAnD's discussion thread: Teaching is a widespread general norm after one completes a course in Fine Art; which are the other art-related vocations that you can think of?

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  6. Curatorship, licensing, starting a non-profit, open a gallery, art consultancy, historian, art restoration, author, activist... there are no real limits.
    In response to IAnD's discussion thread: Teaching is a widespread general norm after one completes a course in Fine Art; which are the other art-related vocations that you can think of?

    ReplyDelete
  7. I used to tell my students that any job that gave them enough studio time was a good job, because fine Arts graduates go to school to become artists. Any job is a good job if making art is your focus.
    I think a good choice, and I am being sincere, is a firefighter-10 days on 10 days off, good health insurance and pensions. It is risky,as your life and those of others is on the line, but so is using epoxy resins, damar varnish, and turpentine.
    If the US had single payer health care, patching together two part time jobs would be another possibility.
    In response to IAnD's discussion thread: Teaching is a widespread general norm after one completes a course in Fine Art; which are the other art-related vocations that you can think of?

    ReplyDelete
  8. To be an artist?
    In response to IAnD's discussion thread: Teaching is a widespread general norm after one completes a course in Fine Art; which are the other art-related vocations that you can think of?

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am an artist and an art teacher and have experience as a bartender, a paramedic, a soldier, a lifeguard, hostess, waitress, seamstress, web designer, carpenter, housekeeper, manager, pencil-pusher, golf cart-girl, landscaper - I have an artist's way - a way of being, seeing, discovering, understanding, explaining...

    As an artist, you are naturally a problem-solver, an innovator, a designer, a thinker. You can do any job. And probably fairly well. You can really apply the art skills to so many things.

    Is the question really: Who will hire someone with an art degree?
    In response to IAnD's discussion thread: Teaching is a widespread general norm after one completes a course in Fine Art; which are the other art-related vocations that you can think of?

    ReplyDelete

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