Back to lesson plan

Appendix: Exhibiting Carr

Planning an exhibition is a long and detailed process: galleries and museums often begin work years before an exhibition is scheduled to open. Among the important factors that gallery staff must take into consideration as they prepare for an exhibition are theme, schedule, venue, resources and budget.

In planning an exhibition, gallery staff must determine whether they wish to focus on the work of one particular artist or the work of several artists at once. If the gallery presents the work of one artist, staff must decide whether to hold a retrospective of that artist's career or to take a closer look at just one or two aspects of the work. Should the gallery decide to bring together the work of more than one artist, a larger idea or purpose needs to guide the discussion as to which artists to include and which aspects of their work to emphasize.

Determining the focus of an exhibition is only the first step. Many people must contribute their time and expertise before a proposal becomes an exhibition that is ready to open to the public. Loan agreements and shipping requirements must be met, photography and reproduction rights must be secured, spatial and aesthetic considerations must be worked out and sponsorship opportunities must be pursued. Other important roles include:

Curator: researches the artist or theme of an exhibition, determines which works to include and which to exclude, and collaborates with the exhibition designer in determining how to place works within the gallery. For the student exhibition, the curator will need to research Emily Carr, focusing on the selected works.

Exhibition Designer: plays an integral part in deciding when and where to hold an exhibition, and also works closely with the curator to determine how to place and display the selected works within the gallery (on plinths, on the wall, etc). For example, in planning the student exhibition, the exhibition designer will need to determine whether to mount works on cardboard, corkboard or other materials, and how to arrange the selected works.

Marketing Specialist: helps shape the public image of the gallery through corporate branding, media coverage and special events. For the student exhibition, the marketing specialist will also design flyers and/or invitations announcing the opening of the exhibition.

Public Programs Coordinator: plans educational programs in conjunction with the exhibition for families, school groups and adult visitors, and looks for ways to share information about artists and their work. For the student exhibition, the public programs coordinator will need to write labels that provide visitors with information on the artist and the selected works.