Curatorial interns facilitate ASU Art Museum exhibits from conception to opening reception
Guests at the opening were met with a retrospective, on loan from local collector Stéphane Janssen. Both the artist and collector were present as patrons examined more than 20 images of volunteers staged in public venues across the world, studied their interpretive panels and discussed issues of nudity, privacy and performance. The most observant attendees took note that some 15 years into the series, Janssen began appearing as a subject in Tunick’s installations.
Months earlier, Angelica Fox was similarly enlightened.
The program, now in its 14th year of sponsorship by the Windgate Charitable Foundation, provides rigorous, paid training for ASU students hoping to become curators. Windgate — which has also provided grants for ASU Art Museum artist residencies, ceramics research and wood and fiber craft fellowships — recently increased its support to extend and enhance the university’s curatorial intern experience.
In her role, Fox was tasked with assisting senior curator and associate director Heather Sealy Lineberry to create a show, from scratch, that not only displayed Tunick’s work, but explored his ongoing connection with its collector — a rarity in art history.
“The first thing I did was Google it,” said Fox, who was previously unfamiliar with the photographer. “The show was so wonderful to work on. Not only did I get to learn about an artist I hadn’t heard of, I got to talk to Spencer personally and see what his practice was and his process was. It was just great to work on it from beginning to end and to see how many people come together to create one show.”
“One of the most important things we do is show students all that is involved in curatorial practice,” Sealy Lineberry said. “There’s project management, there’s fundraising, there’s human resources work because you’re managing a team, and in contemporary art you collaborate very actively with artists, community members and scholars. There’s a great deal beyond what you see on the surface, which is picking the art, putting it up and talking about it.”