Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Installing An Art Exhibition Is A Creative Act - Follow Behind The Scenes Process At San Diego Mesa College Beginning Soon!

article by Cathy Breslaw  

Macro Views, Micro Wonders by Cathy Breslaw is opening reception on Thurs. Sept 10 at 4:30 to 6:30 with a lecture to follow the reception. The exhibition is on show from Sept 8 to Sept 30 at Mesa College Art Gallery ( 7250 Mesa College Dr, SD 92111) More info:. Allesandra Moctezuma  619-388-2829

When we walk into an art exhibition, we experience the 'here and now' as it looks at the moment. We enter unaware of the work and complexities of preparation. My solo exhibition "Macro Views, Micro Wonders" opens on September 10th but conversations with Gallery Director Allesandra Moctezuma and Assistant Pat Vine began over a year ago.  

The photos above gives viewers a sense of the space with nothing in it and before it was freshly painted but it will serve in stark contrast of what is to come next week when together with help from folks at the college, I will be installing over 20 works that include two room installations and one wall installation, several mixed media drawings, several transparent layered industrial mesh wall tableaus, and floor work. Portions will be suspended from the ceiling, some covering walls and parts sprawling on floors. 

For myself as an artist, I am a combination of humbled, excited, and nervous at the prospect of this challenge before me. Before I ever step into the gallery with my work, decisions have been made about the show title, printing accompanying images prepared for the banner, postcards, press releases and social media plans. It has been my experience that installing exhibitions is a true collaboration between the artist and curator/exhibition director as well as with countless others who make important contributions to the process. It is only with the true dedication of the staff, that I am able to create and install. The gallery space dictates ideas about what works to include and where they should be placed - viewers can think about their own living spaces and relate to the challenges of creating a home - and how each piece of furniture and object is thoughtfully positioned. 

With many experiences behind me, I recognize the installation process as a creative act with a voice all its own, adding to that of creating the art itself.Next week I will be posting more photos of the process and then completion of the installation.

Packing up my work on Sunday, I arrived Monday morning with my car loaded with art for the installation.  It was a nice surprise to see the large banner hanging in front of the gallery, showing images of my work and details about the exhibition...
After unloading my car, the work began....
This image shows just a few of the over 50 separate pieces eventually suspended from the ceiling, each having two to three points to hang. Because the ceiling is made of metal, magnets were used to suspend the individual pieces.

I had lots of help yesterday, all of whom either teach at Mesa or have graduated from the Museum Studies program so they knew just what to do...

Today is day 2 - with more to come on the installation!

A two and a half day journey developing the installation of my show at Mesa College Art Gallery is in its end stages. I don't often experience the hands on installation of my exhibitions since they can be in various cities around the country, so it is of great benefit to have had this opportunity to create the space in a very personal way. It has been a joy to work with skilled staff members that have helped every step of the way. Here is a peak, with a few images.....

Monday completes the installation with sound/video portion.....more to come!

Installation: Part 3
The final installation of Macro Views, Micro Wonders is almost complete. Francisco Eme, sound artist and I spent 3-4 hours working on installing the sound and video portion of 'Sensations' which is now in place. It's very exciting as this is my first installation using my video and Francisco's sound.  Mesa College student Jenny Armer worked on carefully lighting the exhibition but was also instrumental in putting together the outdoor banner, posters and postcards for the show. Photographer Melissa Au shot images of the entire exhibition. Pat Vine orchestrated many aspects of the planning and details which has been a key factor in finally bringing together this exhibition. I look forward in anticipation of the show opening on Thursday, September 10th, 4:30 - 6:30 pm, with a lecture I will be doing following it. The public is welcome and invited! Hope to see you then.....
Melissa Au photographer, shooting the installation of the entire exhibition.

Francisco Eme, sound artist explaining his process to Allesandra Moctezuma, Gallery Director,
 as he installs the sound portion of 'Sensations' installation.

Pat Vine, Gallery Coordinator and Allesandra Moctezuma working on final lighting details.

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