For the second year in a row, Director and Chief Curator of Galleries and Exhibitions at Ringling College of Art and Design Tim Jaeger has taught a Business of Art and Design class titled, The Role of the Curator. The course is open to all majors and attracts an interdisciplinary group of students. The objective of each class is to put on a successful exhibition from scratch, including a reception and programming, giving students the opportunity to learn through experience.
In last year’s iteration, the class organized an exhibition of artwork from the collection of fashion icon and influencer Marie Colbert, Head to Toe. Following the reception, the class organized a sustainable fashion show titled, Fresco, inspired by the exhibition.
This year, the class organized an exhibition of the late abstract painter Syd Solomon, Fluid Impressions: The Paintings of Syd Solomon. The exhibition opened on Nov. 6, 2023, in the Lois and David Stulberg Gallery at Ringling College, and will be on view until March 25, 2024. Solomon’s son, Mike Solomon, will give an evening lecture in February.
The class was broken up into four teams: marketing, creative, curatorial, and events. The teams worked collaboratively to organize every aspect of the exhibition, from event planning to marketing and installation. Throughout the semester, visiting professionals from related fields gave talks about their jobs and led question-and-answer sessions with the class, fielding inquiries from students that ranged from big-picture and blue-sky thinking to specific and technical questions.
The exhibition consists of 20 large-scale paintings from the collection of Dr. Richard and Pamela Mones. Dr. Mones has been a semi-regular presence in the classroom, as a contributor, supporter, and audience throughout the process.
Mones was a regular art museum visitor in his teens. In his twenties, he began collecting antiques. After moving to Florida in 2014, he felt his collection did not fit the climate, and began collecting art instead. He found Solomon’s paintings fit in well with his new landscape.
The curatorial team selected the works for the exhibition, alongside Jaeger and Dr. Mones. They crafted the layout and flow of the show in the gallery space. The events and project management team planned all the events for the exhibit, from the private reception to the opening night and the talk by Mike Solomon. The design and creative team were responsible for the look and feel of the exhibition. They took care of the visual identity, graphics, and promotional materials. The marketing team worked on all aspects of promoting the exhibition, from social media, to print advertising, to event listings.
Behind the scenes of the class, The Role of the Curator, gives you a glimpse at how much work goes into creating an exhibition.
In addition to Solomon’s work, the exhibition also features two videos: one video, displayed as a large projection, features animated remixes of Solomon’s paintings, created by Computer Animation students in the class. Also on view is a short documentary about the class with student interviews.
Jaeger and Dr. Mones will both be giving tours throughout the duration of the exhibition.