Undergraduate Students Get Hands-On Curatorial Experience at the Anderson

Exciting things have been happening over in the Anderson this semester! Applied Curatorial Practices, offered this semester through the Department of Art History, brings together a small group of students from a diverse range of VCUarts majors to learn hands-on curatorial skills through the process of organizing and exhibiting a show. This semester the focus was on our nation’s capital, Washington D.C.; however, the group sought to look beyond D.C. as a center of government and instead chose to look into its thriving art community, music scene, and fight for statehood.

We spoke with Art History major Natalie Duke (BA ‘22) who is enrolled in the course. Describing the artist selection process ACP students undertook, Natalie says, “We collaboratively chose our participating artists through a series of virtual studio visits which resulted in selecting nine amazing D.C.-area artists working within a range of mediums and themes.” After dealing with setbacks both from COVID and recent inclement weather, the exhibition, We Built This House, opened Tuesday, February 23rd at The Anderson.

The show ran through March 10th and examined the rich Washington D.C. community from a number of perspectives. A full statement on the show’s theme and further information on the exhibition can be found here

As an Art History major, Natalie reflects that she “took this class to learn more about curation, which I’m interested in as a possible future career path.” For Natalie, “Applied Curatorial Practices has been fantastic for giving me hands-on experience in the field of exhibition curation and I’ve learned so much, from how to coordinate with artists to handling and hanging artwork to dealing with the nitty-gritty that accompanies getting a gallery ready for visitors.”

As a takeaway, Natalie mentions that “It’s been a great learning experience going through this process alongside my fellow classmates, and I certainly feel more prepared for undertaking curatorial work in the future.”