Like almost everything else the Academy Art Museum has been planning since the COVID pandemic hit, they have had to pivot and find new ways to carry on their mission while also keeping traditions alive.
One of those challenges recently was what to do about its annual student art exhibition, which fills the museum galleries with works from kindergarten age to the most sophisticated senior high school artists from the Mid-Shore. How could the AAM and regional schools move forward without the customary art on walls approach that had served so well in the past?
For Constance Del Nero, the Academy’s director of children’s education, and Mehves Lelic, its curator, it was a matter of looking at what other art museums were doing that gave them the inspiration for a unique model where high school students curated their own exhibition online using the museum’s permanent collection as inspiration for their art work, which would also be electronically displayed. Students came up with a theme, wrote their own wall text and artist statements and then created artworks of their own that meshed with their theme.
The result is “Twisted: The Peculiar Portrayal of People.” With the help of Andrea Schulte, art teacher at Kent Island High School, and AAM curatorial assistant Conner Dorbin, this exceptional pairing is now is display on the AAM website for all to see and enjoy.
The Spy spent some time with Constance, Andrea, and Conner to get a better sense of how this special project came together.
This video is approximately three minutes in length. To view the exhibition on line, please go here.