Applied Curatorial Practices (ARTH 369-901) Fall ’22—Spring ’23

Interested in curation? Applied Curatorial Practices (ARTH 369-901) puts you in the driver’s seat: enrolled students work with classmates to curate a professional group exhibition at the Anderson. Learn key theories, get essential experience and build practical skills as a curator, gallery administrator and art handler. Because class enrollment is very limited, students interested in this course must submit an application of interest. See the “To Apply” section below for details!

Check out these two recent articles to learn more about the class:

“Art History Students Gain Hands-on Curation Experience…” By Riley Goodman, 3/21/22

Southern Exigency – ACP Exhibition”, Atlanta 2022, 1/28/22

Applied Curatorial Practices – ARTH

369-901 Fall 2022 – Spring 2023

(6) credit hours total – (3) Fall 2022/ (3) Spring 2023

Class meeting time: Tuesdays, 4:00pm – 6:40pm at The Anderson

Instructors: Chase Westfall (cawestfall@vcu.edu), Graduate TA TBD

Through a combination of lecture and practical exercises, students participate directly in the curation of a professional group exhibition, including all phases of research, planning, and execution. In order to accomodate this process from beginning to end the class is structured as a two-semester course, with participating students required to enroll in both semesters. Students will also be required to participate in up to three trips (including the possibility of overnight stay) to a regional city to conduct curatorial research, artist studio visits, and to pick up and return artworks for exhibition. These trips are in addition to weekly class meetings, occasional lecture requirements outside of the scheduled class time, and occasional local excursions within the city of Richmond. All expenses related directly to student travel and to the exhibition are covered by The Anderson (VCUarts). Additionally, students will be required to participate in two virtual meetings in August, prior to the start of the Fall 2022 semester (see “Course Schedule Overview” below for details). 

Enrollment in the course is extremely limited and is open only to 3rd and 4th year students (students who will be in their 3rd or 4th year during the Fall 2022 semester), with priority given to students who will be in their graduating year. Participating students will be determined through a combination of open application and departmental nomination.

Open Application:  Interested students must submit a letter of application and provide a faculty reference (see “To Apply:” section below). 

Departmental Nomination: Department chairs (or other, authorized departmental representatives) are encouraged to nominate outstanding students for participation in the class. Nominations may be submitted directly to Anderson staff via email and should include the student’s name, vcu email, and a very brief statement of support (1-2 sentences). Nominations may also be requested from chairs and/or selected faculty by Anderson staff. 

Enrolled students will: 

– Participate in weekly lectures, readings, group discussions and assignments 

– Conduct curatorial research 

– Solicit artists for studio visits and exhibition 

– Distribute and manage artist Loan Forms and other exhibition documents 

– Get hands-on experience in art handling, packing and transportation of artworks 

– Plan, schedule and coordinate exhibition related tasks 

– Participate in the exhibition design process 

– Install artworks for exhibition 

– Oversee exhibition promotional efforts 

– Plan, schedule and coordinate exhibition programming 

– Author exhibition didactics and expository text 

– Contribute to the writing, planning, design and overall coordination of an exhibition catalog

– Develop and deliver curator-led tours of the exhibition

Course Schedule Overview:* 

8/9 Virtual meeting and assignment of research objectives 

8/16 — Virtual meeting, following up on research assignments 

8/23 — First Class Meeting, discussion of research

9/6 Report on and group discussion of early research (via email/ Google Drive)

9/17-9/18 – First research trip

10/8-10/9 – Second research trip

10/20 — Participating Artists notified 

1/17 — First Class Meeting, Spring semester 

1/26–1/27 — Artwork pickup 

1/30–2/3 — Install dates 

2/3 — Opening Reception 

3/4–3/7 — Deinstall (***Includes some dates during SPRING BREAK)

4/13-4/14 — Artwork return 

5/2 — Final Meeting 

* dates subject to change 

To Apply: 

Interested students must submit a short letter of application describing 1) their interest in the course 2) how it supports their professional goals 3) any relevant experience (educational, professional, internship, etc.). Letters must also include contact information for a faculty reference. Letters can be submitted as a .pdf attachment or in the body of an email sent to Chloe Abbadessa (finleycl@vcu.edu), Cc: Chase Westfall (cawestfall@vcu.edu) with the subject line “ACP Fall 2022 Application.”

Review of submissions begins 4/8 and continues until registration is full. Questions can be directed to Chase Westfall, cawestfall@vcu.edu.