Working with curators is no novel experience for MFA student Michael Bramwell. But the Ackland Art Museum’s curatorial assistant, Lauren Turner, was open in her vision – and that changed things.
“Some curators take certain work because it resonates with the theme they are trying to get across. Even though I’ve participated in exhibitions like that, I like exhibitions like this one that are open ended in the sense that each work addresses the theme of the show in their own unique way,” Bramwell said.
“In this case, it was more like, ‘Let’s see what you have that may work well with the theme that’s developing.' That is more organic. It allows the work to breathe.”
Bramwell, along with eight other art students graduating from the Master of Fine Arts program, will present their work as a collective exhibit titled “Parts of the Sum” in the Ackland Art Museum, which opened yesterday.
“Having an MFA show annually is something that the Ackland has been doing for years. It’s a way that we can feature the graduating MFA students,” said Ackland communications director Emily Bowles.
“The MFA show is one that is always greatly anticipated by the public. It’s the most contemporary of contemporary art.”
This year, the show was curated by Lauren Turner, one of the curators for the Ackland. She visited the artists’ studios throughout the year to get a feel for their work. Noticing that many of the artists created pieces that contributed to a larger series, she eventually decided upon a theme for the show — Parts of the Sum.
“A lot of (the pieces) are working with the ways that fractional elements work with one another,” Turner said. “They don’t always do so in a neat and tidy fashion. I’m trying to show the many ways that things work together.”
For some of the students, this is their first time working with a curator.