Animalia: UW Student Exhibition in the Reed Collections Study Center

UW Student Exhibition: Animalia

Last Friday night, as part of the museum’s Open House, the Henry presented a one-night-only exhibition curated by University of Washington student, Natasha Lozanoff. Lozanoff’s show, titled Animalia, was selected by museum staff from a group of approximately 20 virtual exhibitions created by students in Ellen Garvens’ winter quarter Contemporary Issues in Photography class.

Garvens’ students began by using the Henry’s online Collections Search to select work from the museum’s permanent collection. They then assembled virtual exhibitions–employing images of the artwork–on themes ranging from abstraction to vulnerability. Many of the class participants are art and photography students, and so elected to include their own artwork in the exhibitions.

Collaborating with Garvens, museum staff attended two class sessions to watch the students present their virtual exhibitions and to provide critical feedback, related to exhibition themes and curatorial practice. Each student then assembled a poster documenting the exhibition, a 500-word exhibition description (the length and style of a museum wall text), and a brief advertising blurb/elevator speech summarizing the exhibition theme and content.

As a final step in this process, Henry staff selected one of projects, Lozanoff’s, to be realized during the Open House in the Reed Collections Study Center. Three additional students received honorable mentions: Danielle Comeaux, who explored how the process of making and circulating photographs can create and/or distort memory; Amanda Kirk, who assembled objects that document, imply or create motion; and Joana Stillwell, whose exhibition, Objectry, surveyed our cultural and psychological connections to domestic objects.

Lozanoff’s exhibition, Animalia, presented an object-based survey of the shifting relationship between man and animals. Drawing from a wide range of museum holdings–fur garments, contemporary photography (including one of the curator’s own photographs), a Delacriox painting of a lion from the original Horace C. Henry gift–Lozanoff outlined the evolution of the man/beast relationship, from utilitarian to symbolic. Lozanoff worked with museum staff to install the show, create labels, and fine tune her wall text. Also on display were all of the class posters.

Following are some pictures from that evening. Cheers to Lozanoff for her excellent exhibition proposal and her smart, curious approach to realizing the installation. We had a great time working with her, her fantastic professor, and the other members of her exceptional class.

The Reed Collections Study Center provides class and individual access to artwork not on view in the museum galleries. The Center is open by appointment, 9 AM-5 PM, Monday-Friday.

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