Tamarind Institute stays Fabulous at Fifty: Gallery management students get hands-on experience for setup

Freshman Maddie Stuntz and sophomore Ayana Colvin take measurements for the Tamarind Institute’s Fabulous at Fifty show in Ross Art Museum as part of the gallery management class.

By Emily Hostetler
Assistant Copy Editor

While meandering through the Richard M. Ross Art Museum and discussing the art on display, few people recognize the amount of work needed to get the exhibition ready for the public.

On Oct. 16, “Tamarind Touchstones: Fabulous at Fifty,” an exhibition of fine art lithographic prints opened to the public in the Ross Art Museum.

However, only a select number of students and Ross Art Museum Director, Justin Kronewetter, will understand the years of planning and days of measuring it took to complete the exhibition for opening day.

Kronewetter said exhibitions must be scheduled one or two years ahead of time because the museum brings in professional work that must coincide with other schedules.

“The average viewer has no idea what happens to it (art work) before and after the exhibit,” he said.

Before the art work is physically laid out and prepared for hanging in the museum, there is a walk through to decide which pieces would fit best on the walls and next to each other.

“The relationship of the work, the way they fit the walls and the coloration are all taken into consideration when considering the location,” Kronewetter said.

Students in ART 492, Gallery Management, have the chance to help prepare the exhibit for the public by helping to layout the artwork in the exhibition visually during the walk through and physically by hanging the pieces on the wall.

“They become integral members of our museum staff. Without them, we could not undertake the ambitious exhibitions that we do,” Kronewetter said.

He said he sets times for students to work during the weekends or week nights so students are more available.

Freshman Maddie Stuntz, a Gallery Management student, said they unloaded the show Oct.7 and spent the next Saturday and Sunday hanging the art work.

“It gets easier,” senior Matthew Turner, a Gallery Management student, said. “I’ve been helping since my first semester freshman year.”

Senior Logan Osbourne and Hayes High School senior Wyatt Hall mount a piece for the Tamarind Institute’s Fabulous at Fifty show in Ross Art Museum for the class.
Kronewetter teaches the Gallery Management class that gives students hands on experience when they help change the exhibitions every six weeks. This year, the museum will show 13 exhibitions.

“The students are learning skills that could indeed lead to employment after graduation,” Kronewetter said. “We have a history of students gaining full time employment around the country.”

Under Kronewetter’s supervision, the students measured, hammered in nails and hung the 61 pieces of art, each by different artists for the fine art lithography exhibition.

According to Tamarind Institute, lithography is a print process that uses a press to transfer an image created on a stone or metal plate to paper.

Rather than depending on carved lines such as an etching process, lithography depends on the mutual repulsion of grease and water.

The “Tamarind Touchstones: Fabulous at Fifty” exhibition originally opened at the University of New Mexico in September 2010. It is currently on a national tour and traveled to Ohio Wesleyan from Tulane University.

The exhibit celebrates the 50 year anniversary of the Tamarind Institute, a division of the College of Fine Arts of the University of New Mexico that specializes in lithographic prints.

Kronewetter said when the institute advertised that the exhibition would be available in 2009, he traveled to Albuquerque, N.M., to attend a reception at the university where he was able to schedule the exhibition for OWU.

Today at 3:15 p.m., Bill Lagattuta, a master printer and journalist, will be having a gallery talk at the Ross Art Museum to discuss the lithography exhibition.

The gallery talk and an opening reception for the exhibition following the talk, is free and open to everyone.

“Tamarind Touchstones: Fabulous at Fifty” will be on exhibit until Dec. 20 and can be viewed during the Museum’s regular hours.

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