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Baltimore Museum Of Art Enlists Its Very Own Security Guards To Curate Work
By Ell Ko, 22 Jul 2021
Image via Mike Steele / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Who better to curate an exhibition than the people who spend all day surrounded by art in the revered museum setting?
That’s the backbone of the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA)’s upcoming 2022 exhibition, Guarding the Art. The exhibition will be curated in its entirety by the museum’s security team, with pieces picked by each of the 17 members.
They will be working with leadership and staff across the museum to bring the exhibition to life, as well as art historian and curator Dr Lowery Stokes Sims for additional mentorship and professional development.
The 17 officers who will be participating are Traci Archable-Frederick, Jess Bither, Ben Bjork, Ricardo Castro, Melissa Clasing, Bret Click, Alex Dicken, Kellen Johnson, Michael Jones, Rob Kempton, Chris Koo, Alex Lei, Dominic Mallari, Dereck Mangus, Sara Ruark, Joan Smith, and Elise Tensley. The group includes a wide range of people who aren’t just officers, but also artists, chefs, musicians, scholars, and writers.
“Our security officers spend more time in our galleries and living among our collection than any other staff within the institution,” said Christopher Bedford, the BMA’s Dorothy Wagner Wallis director, in the news release. The idea for Guarding the Art came about to “fulfill the museum’s commitment to be more diverse, more inclusive, and more representative of the community it serves.”
One of the selected pieces is Winslow Homer’s Waiting an Answer (1872), chosen by Alex Lei. “It’s framed as this moment of waiting—I can relate to that,” Lei told ARTnews. “A lot of my time is spent waiting for guests to come [into the galleries], waiting for someone to ask a question about the art. In the meantime, we’re interacting with the artworks. We spend so much time with the art that we can offer more information than what’s on the plaque.”
Waiting for an Answer (1872).— Olga Tuleninova 🦋 (@olgatuleninova) June 3, 2021
Winslow Homer pic.twitter.com/jCQP9HX2AV
[via ARTnews, cover image via Mike Steele / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)]
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