(February 24, 2015)
"#exhibit: Reinterpreting Art from the Permanent Collection" opens February 28 at Centenary's Meadows Museum
SHREVEPORT, LA — The Meadows Museum of Art at Centenary College will be hosting #exhibit: Reinterpreting Art from the Permanent Collection from Saturday, February 28 through Saturday, May 2, 2015. Students Cadie Hancock '15 and Ben Green '17 have curated this exhibit to attract a new generation of museum-goers and satisfy existing art patrons, who will enjoy seeing prints, paintings, photographs, and drawings that have not been on display at the Meadows for decades. On display are works by artists such as Jean Despujols, Salvador Dalí, Andy Warhol, Don Brown, and Alexander Calder, among many others. The Meadows' exhibit aims to increase audience participation within the museum and present the permanent collection from a digitally fluent perspective.
A self portrait of the young Jean Despujols exhibited for the first time in the United States is just one of the unique pieces to be displayed in #exhibit.
In the exhibition, over 50 works from the Meadows' permanent collection are categorized into one of ten popular hashtags, written as the number symbol "#." Hashtags are used to categorize similar images, words, or ideas together online. The word hashtag was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2014, when the Meadows' exhibition was already in production. One of the most popular hashtags today, #selfie, is used by millions who post images of themselves on the Internet.
The Museum's self-portraits by French Academic artist Jean Despujols are used to illustrate the selfie hashtag, including an early self-portrait from around 1910, never before exhibited in the United States. This painting of the young Despujols in his studio was recently donated to the Meadows by Godefroy Hofer, the artist's French grandson, and recently repaired by conservator Anne Zanikos in San Antonio through the generosity of the Friends of the Algur H. Meadows Museum. During its restoration, Zanikos discovered the stamp of the canvas manufacturer on the back of the painting.
Communication major Hancock and Art History major Green have curated and designed all aspects this exhibit. Their idea emerged last spring from an assignment in their Modern & Contemporary Art class. The two students pitched their concept to a panel of jurors from the Friends of the Algur H. Meadows Board and to visiting curator Dr. Nenette Luarca-Shoaf. The two went on to present their work at the Southeastern Museum Conference in Knoxville, Tennessee this past fall.
The Meadows Museum is the first institution to display its art collection in the same manner in which images are commonly posted online. Computer savvy visitors will arrive already familiar with the concept. Others will learn about the function of popular hashtags through interaction and a keen analysis of social media. "I hope that my classmates as well as the community will come see what treasures the Meadows holds," said co-curator Ben Green. "It has been exciting to explore what a 21st-century museum with digital interaction might look like."
A free opening reception will be held for the public on Saturday, February 28, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. Curators Green and Hancock will give a gallery talk at 6:15 p.m. In conjunction with this exhibition, be sure to follow the Meadows Museum on Instagram at "Meadows Museum."
The Meadows Museum of Art is located on the campus of Centenary College of Louisiana at 2911 Centenary Boulevard in Shreveport, Louisiana. The Museum is free and open to the public Tuesdays through Fridays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. For more information or to schedule field trips, call the Museum at 318.869.5040, or visit www.centenary.edu/meadows.