The Monday after…

The Monday after an exhibition closes is almost always busy. That was certainly the case this week. The Winter Exhibitions 2009-2010– Amy Hauft’s Counter Re-formation and Francis Cape’s Home Front– both included large-scale installations. These works have to be carefully disassembled, packed in crates and delivered back to the artists. So that’s what happened, under the careful eye of Michael, our exhibition manager.

First thing: my job is to change the phone message (easy enough) and update the website.  The Winter Exhibitions are archived and the Current Exhibition page gets the same “Closed for Installation” sign as the front door.

Michael, who also serves as in-house designer, was in the final stages of designing the poster for the student exhibitions. He sent me the signature image, which went on the website too (look for it!). The poster is at the printer as I write this. So, if you aren’t on the Gallery’s mailing list, get thee to our website and sign up. That way, you will be sure to get your very own poster in the mail. Trust me, it’s the cat’s meow.

Back to deinstallation: Eric, our wonderful exhibition contractor, helped Michael to disassemble Cape’s installation, which involved removing an immaculate wainscotting from the wall in Gallery 3. The material had to be saved, so the work was done carefully. Then, our trusty corp of student workers went into action: spackling, sanding, and sawing. Eric worked to wrap and crate photograph downstairs.

Meanwhile, Amy Hauft was here bright and early working to take apart the elaborate table that comprised her installation. Snow drifts were packed away, the tablecloth was folded, and the intricate and delicate sugar staircase centerpiece was placed into its housing.

Tomorrow: how many gallery staff members, artists, and sculpture techs are required to lower a 200+ pound, 16+ ft tall cast iron staircase carefully?

What happens exactly when the Anderson Gallery is closed for installation?

So, if you’ve dropped by the Anderson Gallery since February 22, you’ll have noticed that the “Gallery is closed for installation” note is posted on the front door.

While there are many that perpetuate the myth that magical elves appear in the night to transform the Gallery from a blank-walled rough space to a gorgeous installation site, there is actually a lot of hard work that goes into these transformations, along with the 5 million decisions that are made.

This spring, we’re pretty lucky to have a nice long period of deinstallation/installation. (We’re getting some work done that will leave the galleries just a little sleeker. Yay!) This time is the calm before the storm, though. As there are three student shows that go up in less than two months this spring. That’s lots of hammering, tons of labels and one crazy day of juried show registration.

So, over the next few days, I’ll try to answer the question: what exactly is going on in there when the AG is closed for installation?

Stay tuned.
And the student exhibitions are coming soon. Watch for them!

Sponge is in the building!

Sponge is here…ideas are percolating!

Come see Sponge evolve during weekly Wet Hours, Thursdays, 11 am – 1pm at the Anderson Gallery, 907 1/2 West Franklin.

Or stop by for Sponge Yoga with VCU MFA candidate Catharine Brooks on Wednesdays, noon – 1 pm. Bring a sticky mat and wear loose or stretchy clothes. All levels are welcome. Cost: $5-10 on a sliding scale.

Keep your eye on our website…more information is on its way.