In the age of social media, the act of curating takes place every day. Last year, in an experiment to harness the power of social media and democratize the process of curating an exhibition, Museum of Glass invited visitors and online fans to select works of art for the exhibition, #BeTheCurator.
Crowd-curating of the exhibition began in the summer of 2015 with Museum visitors and Facebook users voting on artwork displayed in Treasures from Glass Collectors to return to MOG’s galleries in a larger exhibition of pieces from the Museum’s collection.
Visitors were invited to vote for and comment on pieces from the Museum’s collection using a ballot at MOG or by liking photos in a series of albums on the Museum’s Facebook page. #BeTheCurator features the most “liked” pieces, such as Erich Woll’s Mistakes Will Be Made (right), and includes Facebook participation from as far away as Brazil, Armenia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Kazakhstan, along with visitors’ comments and reactions.
"It’s exciting to see the Museum’s collection through the eyes of our visitors,” says Katie Phelps, Curatorial Assistant at Museum of Glass. “So many of us are engaged in online experiences, so I hope by bringing a social media component into #BeTheCurator our visitors will feel empowered to also engage with the art.”
The exhibition will continue to encourage audience engagement through a variety of features, such as a social media glossary, Facebook-themed profiles of each artist, and boxes where visitors can vote for an artist featured in the exhibition to receive a Visiting Artist Residency in 2017.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website