The Mirror Effect: Reflections Upon Our Realities is centered around a relationship between art and viewer. When someone sees an object a connection is made to their own life. Some connections are drawn from the object because of the story it tells, while others are inspired by the piece’s beauty or, perhaps, it may come from a person’s culture, a cherished memory, or passion. The object sits on a pedestal, capturing the eyes of everyone passing by, telling the story and history of the artist. The story may be different than what the artist wanted to convey, but the object resonates with the viewer, adding new perspectives and experiences.
We all found a part of ourselves in each object, and the exhibition conveys how we connected with them. We made connections with the objects at first glance, some came from our history classes at school, while others were from our personal lives. We visited institutions that helped us form ways to deliver these views. Each of our interpretations are different because we come from diverse backgrounds, but they have more importance to us and the viewer because they are personal.—2017 Hands-On Curators
The Ralph T. Coe Center for the Arts’ Hands-On Curatorial Program is in its third year working with high school students from the Academy of Technology and the Classics (ATC) and the Santa Fe Indian School (SFIS). The program provides an opportunity for students to work hands-on with the Coe collection of over 2,300 works of Indigenous art from around the world. Through museum visits and weekly sessions, the curators learn how to create their own exhibition by selecting objects, researching and drafting wall texts, writing the press release, designing graphics and the exhibition layout, as well as creating their own limited-run curator designed t-shirts in collaboration with Warehouse 21. The participants build their own exhibition from the ground up.