MC student curates gallery exhibit

MC student curates gallery exhibit

March 7, 2012
Contact: Chloe Kennedy, News and New Media Writer

As an art history major, Maryville College senior Felicia Maldonado has always had an interest in curating art exhibits.

Now it's more than an interest - it's a line on her resume.

Her senior art show, titled “Selected Prints from the Dulin Collection,” is on display until March 31 in the Clayton Center for the Arts’ Blackberry Farm Gallery and consists of 18 prints on loan from the Knoxville Museum of Art.

The Knoxville Museum of Art’s predecessor, the Dulin Gallery of Art opened in 1961.

“The Dulin Gallery of Art was best known for its annual national print and drawing competitions, which attracted hundreds of famous, unknown and amateur artists each year,” Maldonado said. “The gallery would purchase prints and drawings from each competition for its personal collection.”

In the 1980s, the gallery had outgrown its quarters and could not continue in its current location. Most of the prints went into storage in the then newly-opened Knoxville Museum of Art in 1990.

“Most of the prints have not been exhibited since,” Maldonado said.

When she was deciding on a topic for her Senior Study, Maryville College Professor of Art Dr. Carl Gombert approached her with the idea to curate an exhibit of prints from the Dulin Collection. One of the distinctive features of a Maryville education, the Senior Study requirement calls for students to complete a two-semester research and writing project that is guided by a faculty supervisor. According to the College’s catalog, the Senior Study program “facilitates the scholarship of discovery within the major field and integrates those methods with the educational goals fostered through the Maryville Curriculum.”

“I was more than eager to gain this experience,” Maldonado said. “I felt it was an incredible opportunity as an undergraduate to get to do this type of research and work on my own.”

Maldonado selected 18 prints from the collection, researched them, created a catalog for them and curated her own show, which features prints from several different artists, including Robert Rauschenberg, Warrington Colescott and Tennessee native Red Grooms.

She said she selected each print for different reasons – some she liked personally, while others were selected because of the particular artist or because she felt the print showed a variety of printmaking techniques.

After graduation, she hopes to work with or in an art museum, so having the opportunity to work with the Knoxville Museum of Art for her Senior Study was an especially educational and valuable experience for her. The process took quite a bit of work, she said. She had to write a proposal letter that included her Senior Study information and a list of the prints she wanted to use, fill out a 30-paged facility report on the Clayton Center for the Arts, apply for insurance for the prints she was selecting and attend several meetings with the museum’s curator.

“This show would not have been possible without the Knoxville Museum of Art’s involvement,” she said. “They were very patient, seeing how it was my first time ever experiencing something like this. They were also really helpful with ideas and tips on how to go about this and even requested my research when I was done for their own records. I am sincerely thankful for their involvement.”

Gombert said the experience was a great opportunity for Maldonado.

“Felicia has put together a museum quality show,” Gombert said. “It is wonderful for folks here to be able to see works from the Knoxville Museum of Art that are rarely on exhibit.”

The Blackberry Farm Gallery is open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. An artist reception will be held on March 30 in the gallery, during the Maryville Last Friday Art Walk.

Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the fall 2016 semester is 1,197.