Have you ever wondered how an exhibition comes together? Sure, the artists spend countless hours perfecting in their studio, but how does it go from the easel to the gallery wall? The answer is this: installing an exhibition is simple mechanics, paired with chaos and a bit of magic.
The simple mechanics are what you’d expect. All of the paintings need frames, the walls need to be prepared, and inventory needs to be taken. It’s a matter of measuring twice and nailing once–or so we try!
In fact, determining where the nails go is about the only thing that is planned. The day of the installation is the first time we discover the breadth of work each artist has created. It’s chaos as many helping hands empty trailers and carry heavy sculptures inside. Paintings and empty frames lean against every wall. Sculptures and their bases lie on the floor. Smaller works fill up the table. Bubble wrap and protective cardboard pile up in the corners. There’s a fervent energy as each piece is unwrapped; it’s a time of wonder and excitement, like opening a present.
But how do we decide what goes where? That’s the magic. That’s the collective experience of our three acclaimed artists and their intuitive knowledge of what pieces work well together. It’s enchanting to watch as they decide the best placement, what will make the show, and what goes back to the studio. They even stop to workshop a painting that ultimately did not make the exhibition. Time ticks by but slowly, and without recognition or awareness, the show is ready. What started as a collection of inspiring works piled up against the wall has now become Heart of Wonder.
Heart of Wonder is now on display through July 6th