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How to Be a Curator

How to Be a Curator
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Teach your kids how to be a curators and have their own art show.

By Andrea Mulder-Slater

An art curator is someone who works in a gallery or museum and is in charge of building art collections, researching art information, writing about art and placing artwork within gallery spaces.

What makes a good curator? Someone who is responsible, kind and knowledgeable. He or she must work together with community members in order to reflect the kinds of likes and dislikes of the people who visit the gallery or museum.

The mission of a curator is to educate or teach children and adults about art. If they are passionate about what they do, curators will make learning fun and enjoyable. So in a way, a curator is like a teacher …

One very important job that a curator does, is organize art shows. They choose which paintings, drawings, sculptures or prints will be included in a show and they decide where to hang or place each piece.

You can be a curator… all you need is some art and a good eye.

What You Need:

  • artwork – this can be from one artist or a classroom of artists.
  • construction paper – larger than the artworks (optional)
  • paper for invitations (optional)
  • stickers or small index cards for labels
  • tape or staples
  • a place to hang the artwork – this could be a inside wall, an outdoor fence… wherever there’s space.

What You Do:

Once you decide on a location to have your art show, collect up all of the art you would like to display. If you are having a classroom art show, choose at least one work from every student. If this is a one person show, choose the work that will fit and remove any pieces that won’t.

Lay all of the artworks out on the floor so you can have a good look at them

Play around with the works, moving them beside one another and apart. Place similar works together and then try placing works that are different together. You will start to see and feel what looks “right” and what doesn’t.

Once you have an idea of where all of the artworks will go, you can “frame” the works by gluing them on construction paper or you may choose to hang the work “as is”.

For each work of art, type or print up a label. The label could have such information as the name of the artist, the age, the title of the work, the date the work was created and the medium (pencil, watercolor, pastel, ink etc.)

Now, hang the work at eye level … if most of your guests will be children, make sure to place the work so everyone can see them.

Finally, you can draw up some invitations … after all, you would like people to attend your fabulous art show right? The invitations should have the show location, a list of the artists taking part and a time and date of the show. You might wish to serve refreshments at your art show. If this is the case, add “refreshments will be served” to your art show invitation.


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