Up to Snuff #75: Group Art Exhibition Write Up
By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu
The marquee announced the opening; a group show was featured in the gallery: “Pivots and Pitfalls.” The show was around the “ups and downs” in life and was accompanied by a local social services potluck meeting, where participants and local non- profit organizations volunteers and leaders looked for gaps in the local social system. The task was to carefully observe approximately 20 artworks, from 20 different artists of varying technique, background and education, now united under a common brief. Further, the task was to provide critical thought, analysis, as well as citing information that was researched in live interviews at the opening exhibition, from their artist statements and artist resumes. The resulting product should encompass several paragraphs, each dedicated to an artist that may be presented within the news section of the website under a new branded title, “RAC REVIEW.”
The resulting work began with time spent observing each artwork with notetaking, photographs of each work and a list of the artists with their respective emails. Then questions were developed that were organized into three primary areas which were sent to each artist with some further questions specific to details in their art work. The basic query was: 1) what is the theme or story behind this series or body of work, 2) what techniques and materials were utilized in the creation of this work and 3) tell me something about you, where you have shown the work, your education, bio, awards etc. This basic questioning was built on with additional questions, for example, if the artist was using chromatic layers of two colors to make a third, perhaps a color question was asked. The perspectives from the brief were vast, from gilded feminist decoupage to an abyss pen world or a voodoo style ball pin covered sock monkey. Ultimately, the column elicited a greater purpose, both promoting of the gallery and a “second wave,” over the artwork. The write-up provided more detailed information about the gallery, the show, the artists and art itself and what that can be in any given moment. The write-up functioned in terms of publicity, marketing and sales, was almost a “star making machine,” it served history and will be what is left after the exhibition closes.