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Friday, September 23, 2011

Community Curates

23 September 2011 – 11 March 2012 

Opening celebration: First Fridays 7 October 7pm

In most cases, art is a visual experience that is meant to be experienced in person. However, the far reaching impact of the internet has undoubtedly done wonders for the art world—bringing otherwise inaccessible art into homes around the world. Despite this wider access, can one truly appreciate an artwork by viewing it online? Details that greatly affect the impact an artwork has can be lost when viewing on screen: size, texture, presentation and location. 

For example, every art history student studied The Raft of the Medusa by Théodore Géricault in art history text books, but it cannot be fully appreciated without seeing the jaw dropping size of it (491 x 716 cm) in the Louvre. On the other hand, arguably one of the most iconic artworks in the world is the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci; however many people comment on the underwhelming experience of seeing it in person, mostly due to its size (77 x 53 cm) and the fact that it is presented behind bullet proof glass. 

This past summer we invited the general public to participate in the exhibition process. Each week, for ten weeks, five artworks were posted to the RMG’s blog and the community was asked to vote for the ones they’d like included in the exhibition, Community Curates. Selections were chosen from our works on paper collection, which rarely get shown due to conservation concerns. 

This project brought the RMG’s collection into the homes of this community, it also raised questions into how we perceive artworks online versus in person. We trust that viewing the results of this project online will encourage the community to come in to the RMG to experience the selected artworks first hand. 

Now that the exhibition is launching and you will soon be able to see the works in person, what are your impressions? Are the works you liked online the same ones you like on the wall? Do you think this was a successful project? How should we approach a similar idea in the future? Share your feedback with us in the comment section of this post. 

Thank you for your participation!