Artists don’t get many chances to display work in world-class venues. The odds are normally slim to none. For some of my Academy of Art graduate students last spring, they experienced a once in a lifetime opportunity at the de Young in San Francisco. Every year, the museum opens it doors for college and university students offering a chance to showcase art for a long weekend exhibition.
Last Tuesday evening, I was invited to be part of the Student Showcase committee at the de Young. The meeting was located on the 8th floor of the museum’s tower. Our goal was to set a theme and discuss ways to improve the event. Art historians, current students, recent graduates, professors from various colleges, and wonderful museum staff were in attendance.
A brainstorming session flourished. What would be the title and theme for next year’s event? Words like evolve, transform, legacy, and emergence were popular. The group started editing and arraigning thoughts. The title would have to link together three upcoming exhibits: Botticelli to Braque: Masterpieces from the national Galleries of Scotland, Embodiments: Masterworks of African Figurative Sculpture, and Janet Delaney: South of Market.
While no final decision was made, the process had narrowed down the ocean of possibilities to a few. Being an artist, creation is messy. When I think something is going to be easy, it’s not. Getting work done is a matter of organized chaos.
Overall, it was an honor to help set a framework for future artistic generations. I want my time and energy spent on substantive and meaningful change. To me, that’s what building a positive legacy consists of. The next student showcase will be April 24th– 26th, 2015. Stay tuned for a title but be ready to be inspired.