“The Requiem Exit Show” at the end of the 2022 fall semester at Ivy Tech Indianapolis was the end of an era for the students in ARTS 250 Fine Arts Portfolio capstone class as they looked forward to the future.
“The show installation and the work were fabulous,” Stephanie Robertson, the fine arts program chair at Ivy Tech Indy, said. “The students were brilliant at pulling it all together.”
Every semester, exiting fine art students in ARTS 250 spend 10 to 12 weeks curating an “exit” exhibition in the Gallery at the Julia M. Carson Learning Resource Center. From the planning and development to coming up with the title, a marketing plan, and an installation plan, it is all on the soon-to-be art graduates to put together the show.
Robertson is the capstone class professor, and her goal with each exit show is to help introduce the student artists to the business side of being professional artists.
“These shows teach students basic business practices that they will need in the future. It is also a great way for them to see their work in a professional light, and to understand that they are part of a special group, creatives who can change the world,” Robertson said.
At the beginning of the course, each student brings 40 to 60 pieces of art to share with the class. It takes about two weeks for everyone in the class to work together and narrow each person’s work down to 10 or 12 pieces for the exhibition.
The following two weeks of the class are dedicated to drafting the individual artist statements, which describe what the artist makes and why they make it.
Then, they move on to choosing a name for the exhibit. “They are all aware of each other’s work, and what their own artwork is about, so the students work together to decide on the title of the show,” Robertson said.
After figuring out the title, the students worked on the marketing material. A big part of the marketing plan for the fall 2022 ARTS 250 students was utilizing social media platforms, such as Instagram.
The ARTS 250 class then learns how to present their artwork, install their art pieces, deinstall, label, and plan an art reception.
In the end, some students may even see a monetary reward for their art as several pieces usually sell, Robertson says, as the gallery does not take any commission and the buyers pay the students directly.
“In the past, most art schools/programs have not taught students how to sustain a career or even where to start,” Robertson said. “My goal since I became the program chair 15 years ago was to help them learn how to do some of these things that no one ever showed me, and I tell them all the time I want them to be better at all of it than I am.”
You can see the 9th Annual Student Juried Show beginning Friday, February 3, at the Julia M. Carson Learning Resource Center on the Ivy Tech Indy campus, where a reception and an award ceremony will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thereafter, the exhibit will be available to view during gallery hours from February 5 to March 3. The gallery is currently open on Monday and Tuesdays 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Wednesday and Thursday 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. If you’re interested in viewing the exhibit outside of gallery hours, you can email Stephanie Robertson for an appointment at email@example.com.