Since the closing of Jennifer Walden and Jane Isakson’s solo exhibitions, YAC’s gallery preparator Scott Price has been hard at work, preparing for last Thursday’s opening of Michele Karch-Ackerman, Helen O’Connor and Rosemary Scanlon’s solo exhibitions.
Artwork was carefully jigsaw-ed back into crates and packed for shipping. Walls were patched, painted and moved (that’s right, moved!). Lights were re-hung and re-directed. And only then did the real work begin: installation!
Our latest exhibitions in the Yukon Arts Centre Gallery incorporate some fairly unique features, including 98 floating onesies, a suspended film screen made of handmade paper, and unframed artworks mounted with magnets. As with any exhibition, much of the artistry involved with installation is unknown to the public, but in this behind-the-scenes look, we hope to reveal the creativity and craftmanship that makes every show possible. We talked to Scott about his experience as our resident preparator.
1) What is a gallery preparator?
A person who installs art in an art gallery, works with the artist to make sure the work is presented in the best manner and light possible.
2) What are some of your responsibilities?
Some of my responsibilities include uncrating and unpacking the artwork when it arrives at the Arts Centre. I inspect the art (condition report it), hang it and light it and put up all the artists’ information including the title of show.
3) What is an average day for you?
An average day includes preparing space for the artwork, working with artists when they arrive on site, helping them become acquainted with the space and how their artwork will show in it.
4) What is the most exciting thing about your job?
The most exciting thing about my work is doing what I do, trouble shooting on the spot, hanging out and working with artists from the Yukon and across the country. I really like my job – the variety and the challenges.
5) What is a popular misconception about your job?
A misconception is that artwork is just there and people don’t realize the amount of work behind the scenes to get the work up on the wall – the amount of cooperative work to get a show up.
6) How did you get into this career?
I got this job by being who I am, by knowing the things I know. I am an artist and carpenter and these experiences I bring to the job. My first show was a result of being asked by the previous preparator to step in while he was doing other training. From there, I was later asked to take the job full time.
7) What is the weirdest thing you have installed for an exhibition?
The weirdest thing I’ve ever installed was a bunch of small houses held up with big chicken feet. The show also had a lot of other stuff, including painted chicken eggs and strange rabbits – but the fact that it was so obsessive made it such an amazing show.
8) What is the best thing about your job?
The best thing about this job is the variety of art I get to handle and the people I get to meet.
9) Can you tell us what is unique about the latest exhibitions in the gallery?
Unique about the next shows: Michele’s intensive investigative research into her subject matter and the heartfelt responsive selection of material and form in which her images present. Helen’s show is warm and joyful and shows her comfort of form, fitting herself into the work. Rosemary’s concentrated illustrative style weaves wondrous spirited metaphysical landscapes.
Remember to check out Scott's presentation of ART THAT INSPIRES at our pecha kucha style event in the Old Fire Hall on Tuesday, March 18th!