The Clark Opens Exhibition Created By Eleven-Year-Old Guest Curator

Guest curator Giselle Ciulla (photo T. Bair)

(WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.) – In what may well be a first for any museum of its kind in the world, The Clark opens a new exhibition created by its youngest curator ever, when Giselle’s Remix, an installation created by eleven-year-old guest curator Giselle Ciulla as part of The Clark’s interactive uCurate program, is unveiled this Saturday, November 17, 2012.  Giselle’s Remix, selected from over 1,000 amateur submissions, is a fresh look at some of The Clark’s most favored works, including those by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Frederic Remington, Edgar Degas, and Giovanni Boldini, and will remain on view through January 20, 2013. Ciulla wrote all of the exhibition’s wall texts, participated in marketing decisions for the show, discussed her exhibition vision and choices with Clark educators, and recorded audioguide entries for the show.

“We are delighted to welcome Giselle to our curatorial team for this special project,” said Clark Director Michael Conforti. “Both our Clark Remix exhibition and the uCurate program were designed to invite our visitors to look at our collection in new ways. The chance to work with a young person whose eye and curatorial instincts are so engaging gives us a great way of showcasing new perspectives. I can’t think of a better way to launch the first of our uCurate exhibitions than by inviting the next generation to take a leadership role.”

Clark Remix, an installation of some 400 works from the Institute’s permanent collection, opened earlier this year. It is supplemented by two digital applications, uCurate and uExplore. The uExplore application features detailed content on each work in the Remix gallery, while uCurate is an interactive program that invites users to design their own installations for a Clark gallery, using works featured in the Remix exhibition. In launching the program, The Clark announced plans to select three uCurate submissions for future installation in its exhibition galleries.

For example, in her virtual exhibition, Ciulla wrote that she chose Winslow Homer’s Summer Squall for her gallery because “I love the way that the waves crash against the rocks, like a fight between water and rock.” Of her decision to include a bronze sculpture of Joan of Arc, Ciulla wrote, “I find this statue fascinating because of the determined look on her face, and how it also has a look of sorrow and regret on it, too. She looks like she is ready to fight for whatever she is so determined to save, whether it’s a person, or a feeling.”

After reviewing nearly 1,000 uCurate submissions, The Clark’s curatorial team chose Giselle’s Remix as its first exhibition. In selecting Ciulla’s exhibition, the Clark’s team was impressed with the ways in which her unique perspective evokes feelings and emotions that belie her youth.

Giselle Ciulla planning the exhibit (photo T. Bair)

Once her selection as guest curator was confirmed, Ciulla visited the Clark and joined with its team in working on a variety of typical curatorial tasks, including making decisions regarding the gallery layouts and revisions to the exhibition checklist necessitated by loans that made some objects unavailable. She also wrote all of the exhibition’s wall texts, participated in marketing decisions for the show, discussed her exhibition vision and choices with Clark educators, and recorded audioguide entries for the show—all in a day’s work for a curator.

“I did the uCurate exhibition because I always like creating things and designing things my own way,” Ciulla says. “This especially appealed to me because of how you could look at the paintings in the museum when you were making it to see what they looked like up close.”

Ciulla has been visiting The Clark since she was very young. She created her uCurate exhibition earlier this year while on a visit to The Clark with her grandparents, who have a home in the Berkshires. “My favorite thing about The Clark is that I always have fun looking at the amazing paintings and reading about the artists. I like studying the paintings and drawing my own when I get home,” she says.

Ciulla’s exhibition includes works like Frederick Remington’s Friends or Foes? and Pierre Auguste-Renoir’s View at Guernsey. In addition to paintings, Ciulla has included sculptures and decorative arts in her exhibition. Horse with Head Lowered by Edgar Degas and Joan of Arc by Princess Marie-Christine d’Orléans will be featured along with objects including a tea service from the Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory and a nineteenth-century blown glass flask by an unknown maker.

Ciulla, who lives with her family in suburban New York, is a fifth grade student who also enjoys performing arts, sports, and spending time with her little brother. Ciulla will visit The Clark on November 17 to celebrate the opening of her exhibition and the Clark’s Family Day. She will participate in a conversation at 4:30 pm with her curatorial colleagues, Richard Rand and Kathleen Morris, to discuss her vision for the exhibition.

Young people who view Giselle’s Remix this autumn will also enjoy the first Kidspace exhibition to be presented at the Clark. Lions and Tigers and Museums, Oh My! explores the concept of curiosity in a variety of ways, utilizing Peter Paul Rubens’s monumental painting Lion and Tiger Hunting as inspiration for this journey of discovery. The interactive exhibition encourages visitors to contemplate ideas surrounding artists, the works they create, the stories they tell, and concepts surrounding different kinds of museums. Lions and Tigers and Museums, Oh My! utilizes video, hands-on activities, taxidermy, and innovative displays to create a fun and exciting learning environment for kids of all ages. The exhibition is on view in the Clark’s Stone Hill Center galleries from November 17, 2012 through March 31, 2013.

About uCurate

The digital application uCurate sparks inspiration and provides information on the works featured in Clark Remix. Accessible at touchscreens and computer kiosks in the galleries, uCurate invites users to choose from more than 250 works featured in Clark Remix to create their own virtual exhibitions in a 3D version of one of the Clark’s special exhibition galleries. Users are afforded the opportunity to make decisions about their installations in much the same way that curators design an exhibition: choosing which works to incorporate, the arrangement of works on walls and on pedestals, the color of the walls, and the development of an introductory curator’s statement. Users may post their designs on the Clark website and share them online via social media outlets.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday from September through June, (daily in July and August), 10 am to 5 pm. Admission is $15 June 1 through October 31; free November through May; and free year-round for Clark members, children 18 and younger, and students with valid ID. For more information, call 413 458 2303 or visit The Clark.





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