Albright-Knox Art Gallery Future Curators program (2011)

We asked four students-turned-critics who participated in the program what they thought...

Chelsea Butkowski
Creative Business & Entrepreneurship | 27 December 2011

In May 2011, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York (USA) held an exhibition curated by area high school students. This exhibition, entitled raw, was the culmination of the gallery’s Future Curators Teen Program, led by Lindsay Kranz of the Gallery’s Education Department, and the exhibition was entirely composed of student art.

Participants took on all of the responsibilities of organizing the show. They developed the concept of raw by citing the widespread influence of technology— and imagining a world without it. The selected artworks emphasized organic and visceral states of being.

To learn more about the program, artdesigncafe asked four participants to reflect on their experience.

Emily Carlson

"The Future Curators Program taught me about what goes into putting on an exhibition. I think it is sometimes easy to assume when looking at an exhibition that most of the work has been done by the artists when that is simply not so. It was also a pleasure to see what awesome artwork is being done by high school students and to help present some of that work in as honorable a setting as the Albright-Knox." (Emily Carlson)

Alexandra Gerbec

"Future Curators was one of the best experiences I could ask for as a senior high school student going into an art major in college. I learned that there was so much more entailed in the art world than just teaching and creating; there is a whole process of setting up an exhibition, curating, handling, and directing an opening that was so interesting, it opened a lot of possibilities for me. Now being in art school, there isn’t a day where I can’t be thankful enough to have such a great experience learning from the Albright-Knox, the collection, and the people / staff there!" (Alexandra Gerbec)

Jordan Bianchi

"The Albright Knox Art Gallery Teen Curator [Program] was incredible. We were in a professional environment with one main goal: to produce the best teen exhibit the gallery had ever seen, while keeping up with the standards of the rest of the gallery. We quickly became friends after debating for hours and hours over which pieces should be in the show. The entire ride was a thrill." (Jordan Bianchi)

Chelsea Butkowski

"My participation in the Future Curators Program completely reshaped my way of thinking about art. Coming in with a limited knowledge of gallery proceedings, I finished the program with a strong understanding of the inner workings of exhibition prep. I learned that the ’real world’ of art is much more than the artworks themselves and began developing the entrepreneurial skills necessary to explore it." (Chelsea Butkowski)