At first glance, it looks like any other exhibit at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Titled “A Study in Action/Reaction,” the compilation of sketches, photographs, sculptures and paintings would be at home in any art museum around the world. This exhibit, though, is just a bit different.
The culmination of months of hard work, the exhibit was created entirely by Albright-Knox’s 2014 Future Curators, 21 juniors and seniors from area high schools who share a passion for art. After an application process, the selected students began meeting every Thursday in January. The students toured the museum and its variety of exhibits, had the opportunity to communicate with staff members and learned the ins and outs of creating a masterful art exhibition, which is not always as easy as it appears.
“We learned about every part of putting together an exhibition,” said Clare Galbo, a junior at Nardin Academy, “titles, themes, the layout and writing text to go along.”
With their thorough introduction to the world of the art museum complete, the students started to put together the exhibition.
By the end of February, the group began to review submissions from students. Once they viewed them, the young curators would pick a theme and vote on final submissions. In addition to planning the exhibition itself, the group also planned its opening, which was held May 1 at the Albright-Knox and May 6 at the Larkin Building.
Clare was especially excited, as one of her pieces also was featured in the exhibit.
“It was a totally unbiased process, so I had the same chance as everyone else,” Clare said. “All we had was the medium, size and a picture of the work. It’s an honor to have my piece in the same gallery as so many famous works.”
Participating in such a unique experience has opened the students’ eyes to the world of art.
“There is so much that goes on behind the scenes, and everyone who came showed me a side of the Albright-Knox I’d never seen before,” said Lily Zenger, a senior at Nardin Academy. “It gave me such good insight about the career I hope to have in the future.”
The 21 students came out of the experience with not only a renewed appreciation for art but also a special bond with each other.
“In all honesty, the best part of the program was the people involved,” said Steve Goehrig, a senior at Canisius High School. “The curators agreed that the best aspect was being part of a group of people that could talk about art and use it in a productive manner. The amazing people gave this experience importance.”
The exhibits continue through May 31 in the Larkin Art Gallery, 745 Seneca St., and through June 8 in the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, 1285 Elmwood Ave.
Hannah Zakrzewski is a junior at Nardin Academy.