From the Desk of a Work Scholar: Opening Reception at Shared Vision

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All photos by Aperture Foundation Work Scholars. The deadline for the summer session application is April 15.

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Sondra Gilman and Celso Gonzalez-Falla’s collection of iconic photography drew a crowd to Aperture Gallery Tuesday night for the opening reception of Shared Vision presented by MOCA, on view through Saturday, April 21, 2012.

The exhibition, featuring work by Robert Adams, Eugène Atget, Minor White, Walker Evans, Loretta Lux, Sally Mann, Richard Misrach and more, was culled from one of the world’s best private collections of photography by the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Jacksonville, a cultural resource of the University of North Florida, curated by Ben Thompson, MOCA’s curator, and Paul Karabinis, assistant professor of photography at UNF. It’s also accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog published by MOCA and produced by Aperture Foundation, featuring a selection of images from the collection, historical context and curatorial remarks.

Of course, the show wouldn’t be complete without the help of our many  indispensable Work Scholars.  Regan Hillman shares what her experience behind the scenes was like.

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As the Exhibitions Work Scholar, I had the great opportunity to handle and hang this amazing selection of photographs from Sondra and Celso’s collection.

Exhibitions Work Scholar Regan Hillman

The process of getting the exhibition on the wall included many steps.  First, paper cut-outs of the works, scaled to one-seventh of the original size (including the frame) were organized into their respective sections and arranged on paper walls also scaled to one-seventh of those at our gallery in Chelsea.  Because we could move our paper replicas into different orders and arrangement, this mock-up version helped us to get a visual of how the photographs would look when installed.  After a paper layout was completed, I made a virtual rendering of the space in a computer program that allows you to build a space using the measurements of the gallery and import the pictures onto the walls.  While the paper mock-up could be moved around easily, the virtual rendering from the computer program gave us a sense of how the space would look in three dimensions.

To prepare the text for the exhibition we worked closely with the Design and Copy Editing departments to produce captions and an extensive gallery guide.  Then the many, many crates and boxes containing the exhibition arrived.  The hanging process, though tedious, went smoothly with the help of our installation team.  I loved walking into the gallery each morning and seeing another section hanging on the wall.

It was extraordinarily rewarding to see the process through from beginning to end.  What had started out as multitude of one-inch square images on a checklist, eventually—with much work and deliberation—became an exhibition: visually engaging, full of information, and with a wealth of original examples from the history of photography.

 

Regan Hillman is a pursuing a Master’s degree in Art History at CUNY Hunter College.  She received her B.A. in Painting and Art History at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.  She plans to write her M.A. thesis this summer on modern and contemporary painters who have made stained glass windows for Gothic cathedrals. When not busy at Aperture or school, Regan enjoys exploring her Brooklyn neighborhood and the green expanses of Prospect Park.