Six Niagara University students curated “Born from Wood: The Niagara Frontier Wood Carvers,” a new exhibit at the university’s Castellani Art Museum featuring 13 artists from the local wood carving club that is based out of the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum in North Tonawanda. An opening reception for the exhibit took place on April 29.
The students, Lia D’Angelo, Nicholas Hertz, Melanie Polanco, Elizabeth Rice, Stephanie Toohey, and Sierra West, are all part of the Exhibiting Cultures class in the university’s art history with museum studies program, taught by Edward Y. Millar, curator of folk arts at the Castellani Art Museum and adjunct faculty in the program. The intensive, hands-on course teaches students how to develop exhibits focused on local cultural traditions while also exploring issues of representation, inclusivity, and appropriation in the museum field. Students in the course were responsible for the “A to Z” of exhibit development, from conducting interviews with local artists, to writing the exhibit content, to installing vinyl lettering and hanging works on the gallery walls, under the guidance of the professor.
Twelve of the 13 artists attended the opening, pictured below.