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Exhibition showcases student art

'Don't You Forget about Me' curated by Visual Arts and Design students

In today’s art world, you don’t need to be a gallery staff member to curate an exhibition.

For Shania Dunn and Sarah St John, third year students from the University of Wollongong’s (UOW) School of Arts, English and Media, setting up an exhibition was a great joy but full of challenges.

The exhibition, Don’t You Forget About Me, is a student initiated part of their Visual Arts and Design course that gives students the opportunity to showcase their works without the stress of assessment.

The exhibition also helps students develop their understanding of themselves as artists, says Dr Agnieszka Golda, a Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Arts at UOW.

“Students are set the task to explore the exhibition spaces at the university and to present an exhibition in creative ways. They are supported by other students on their course and the creative art staff,” Dr Golda says.

Shania says that when you set up an exhibition there is not a one-size-fits-all approach, but various methods.

“A curator’s job is not easy, you need to oversee every detail of the production and it helps to be extremely organised,” she says.

“Setting up an exhibit can be problematic; there are lots of things you have to consider like, where to place the artworks, the colours or lack of colour used, and what medium the art work is produced in.”

The students not only learn how to conceptualise an exhibit, but also have to reserve an exhibition space, consider the audience, install the art, advertise, publicise, and organise the grand opening.

“There is a real skill in working out a logical flow between art works and creating a message that lets the artists communicate and speak out to the audience,” Dr Golda says.

The exhibits title comes from two defining moments while at university.

“The first was watching The Breakfast Club movie and hearing the song Don’t You Forget About Me by Simple Minds. The second was showing off all our art works produced at uni, we just didn’t want to be forgotten,” Sarah says.

The exhibition features works created by a selection of third year visual arts students in a variety of practices such as painting, sculpture, textiles, and photography.

Don't You Forget about Me is on at the TAEM Gallery, Building 25, University of Wollongong main campus from 28 July to 11 August.

Don't you forget about me - collageSome of the artworks from the exhibition 'Don't You Forget About Me' at the TAEM Gallery, Building 25, University of Wollongong main campus from 28 July to 11 August.