Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Three Exhibition-Related Opportunities in 2013

The year is ending, and I have three exciting opportunities to share with you if you are an exhibition-oriented individual, or someone with an interest in the indoor side of creative placemaking.
  1. Join our team. We're looking for an Exhibitions Manager to join our team here at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History. In this full-time role, you will be responsible for interactive exhibition development, project management of all our site-specific work, and you will lead the redevelopment of our permanent History Gallery into a more dynamic, participatory, and flexible space. This is a highly collaborative role, and we are looking for the perfect blend of strong design skills with a generous enthusiasm for amateur and professional co-creation. Please check out the full description and how to apply if you are interested. 
  2. Come to Camp. You Can't Do That in Museums Camp is filling up. Next week, I will be reviewing applications for this event and making decisions. If you are interested, please apply soon! This camp will be a 2.5 day event in July of 2013 at which participants work in teams to create an exhibition full of intriguing, unusual, risky experiences. If you've ever wanted to design an object-based exhibit that really pushed the boundaries, this is the event for you. You do not have to be a museum professional to be part of this--we'd like a diverse mix of participants. Registration will be $150 and by application only
  3. Join the conversation. Spurred partly by the most recent (and fabulous) issue of the Exhibitionist and conversations we're having at our museum, I'd like to hear your reflections on how you think about exhibition formats and schedules. We're toying here with switching from a format where we change all of our exhibitions four times per year to something more flexible throughout the building. I'm curious what has worked or been challenging at other museums, especially small and mid-sized ones, when it comes to both frequency of exhibition changes and the approach. Some of the big questions on my mind include:
    • If we change exhibitions more frequently, will it drive more repeat visitation? Will it give a sense of energy and change? 
    • What do we lose in quality and ability to create complex work if we rotate more frequently?
    • Would it work to create an infrastructure for exhibitions that are flexible, inviting changing insertions and shifts, but don't rotate entirely? Would visitors "read" that as new content, or would the visual similarities make it seem like same old same old?
    • What if we slowed down and changed some spaces less frequently--like once a year? What opportunities might that open up for participatory and community projects that evolve over time in the space?
If you have thoughts on any of these questions or want to share the story of how you approach exhibition rotation and formats, please share a comment!

And if you know anyone who should be at Camp or should apply for the job, please pass this on.
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