What is the role of the Exhibitions department at Perkins?

An introduction the Exhibitions Department at Perkins Center for the Arts.

An Introduction the Exhibitions Department at Perkins Center for the Arts

Welcome to the vibrant world of the Exhibitions Department at Perkins Center for the Arts! I’m Sharon Kiefer, the Curator of Exhibitions, and I’m thrilled to give you an insider’s look into our department. Join me as we explore the dynamic history, the diverse range of artists we feature, and the exciting events unfolding in the captivating galleries at Perkins.

Evolution of Exhibitions at Perkins

Our Exhibitions Department has undergone a remarkable transformation in the past three years. Initially, we had two galleries that hosted six exhibitions annually. However, now we have three galleries that showcase a total of 18+ exhibitions each year! Picture this: Perkins’ Main and Loft galleries are situated in an industrial-style building in Collingswood, NJ, while the Moorestown, NJ location boasts a gallery space inside Perkins’ historic Tudor manor. We proudly play host to a diverse array of local, regional, national, and even international artists, including both seasoned professionals and emerging talents.

Mary Carty creates many of her signature baskets by weaving around an eye-catching centerpiece item.

The Curator’s Role and Artistic Impact

As the Curator, my role is multifaceted—I curate exhibitions across all three galleries, oversee the installation of shows, present artists through compelling biographies and statements, and host engaging artists’ receptions to amplify the impact of each exhibition.

The exhibitions and receptions we organize serve as a platform for artists to connect with audiences. It’s an opportunity for them to share their insights, address social issues, dazzle with the beauty of their heartfelt creations, and even make their works available for sale.

The Art of Scheduling

Scheduling exhibitions is akin to assembling a jigsaw puzzle, with numerous considerations in play. The distinctive traits of each venue, from an intimate Tudor manor to an expansive industrial gallery, influence the exhibition choices. We maintain a balance between solo exhibitions and open-call group exhibitions, showcasing the talents of local artists alongside artists of national and international repute. The juxtaposition of serious social-issue-based exhibitions with lighthearted showcases adds depth to the overall experience.

Mary Carty creates many of her signature baskets by weaving around an eye-catching centerpiece item.

Seeking Artistic Talent

One question that frequently arises is, “Where do we find these incredible artists, and how can artists request a show?” The answer lies in meticulous planning—we schedule exhibitions up to two years in advance, providing artists with ample time to craft a body of work. Over the years, I have built relationships with hundreds of artists through my 23 years of experience as the Director of a small non-profit gallery in southern NJ and freelance curations for ARTC/STROBE. To find new talents, I attend various museums, galleries, and artists’ receptions, and use social media to promote our exhibitions.

For artists eager to showcase their work at Perkins, attending one of our receptions is a fantastic starting point. It’s an opportunity to introduce yourself, discuss the possibilities, and connect with like-minded creatives. Alternatively, you can explore our website or reach out via email, providing a gateway to the myriad opportunities we offer.

Interested in Entering Our Next Open Call Exhibitions?

If you’re an artist eager to showcase your work, we welcome you to participate in our open-call exhibitions. Visit the ‘Prospectus/Submission‘ page on our Exhibitions website for detailed information on upcoming opportunities.

A Tapestry of Artistic Expression

Ultimately, our gallery exhibitions weave connections—between people, neighborhoods, and communities. Beyond being a platform for artists to display and sell their work, our galleries offer a tranquil environment for art appreciation, a space to navigate emotions, foster connections, reflect on the evolving social landscape, and simply be entertained.

Ready to explore the world of exhibitions at Perkins? Visit our website here and follow us on social media for the latest updates and artist highlights. If you’re an artist eager to showcase your work, reach out to me via email at skiefer@perkinscenter.org.

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