Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute opens exhibition by winner of curatorial challenge

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Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute opens exhibition by winner of curatorial challenge
Guest curator Samantha Jones studies Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot’s Young Girl in a Pink Skirt, a work she chose for her exhibition Everyday Nothing.

WILLIAMSTOWN, MASS.- Samantha Jones, a sophomore at the New Hampshire Institute of Art (NHIA), became the third uCurate guest curator when her exhibition Everyday Nothing opened at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute on Saturday, March 23.

Jones, who majors in illustration and art education, submitted her exhibition as part of a “Race to the Remix” curatorial challenge the Clark sponsored in January. The 72-hour competition challenged entrants to create an exhibition using the Clark’s interactive uCurate application, available in its galleries or online at The uCurate application is connected to Clark Remix, an installation of some 400 works from the Institute’s permanent collection, and allows users to design their own installation for a Clark gallery using works featured in the Remix exhibition.

The Race to the Remix competition required participants to create an exhibition of exactly ten works of art from those featured in the Clark Remix exhibition, including Louis Léopold Boilly’s Various Objects, and to incorporate the theme of poetic license in their curatorial statement. Race to the Remix drew more than one hundred registrations and resulted in a wide range of exhibition concepts.

Jones was one of several NHIA students who participated in the competition as part of a class assignment. Her exhibition was selected as the winner of the challenge by members of the Clark’s curatorial team who found the concept of Everday Nothing intriguing. Inspired by Boilly’s trompe l’oeil painting, which depicts such ordinary objects as a penknife and a pair of scissors, Jones selected other works that have commonplace themes or usage. “We see objects like these every day of our lives, but never really step back and look further into them. There is a story behind everything, and when I look at the artwork I chose, I can feel a deeper message behind each subject.”

Among the works included in Jones’s exhibition are Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s painting Tama, the Japanese Dog, John Singer Sargent’s painting Neapolitan Children Bathing, and an eighteenth- century gilded silver cream jug in the shape of a cow from the Clark’s silver collection.

“Our goal in creating the uCurate exhibition series was to bring different curatorial voices to the Clark to experiment with our collection in different, and sometimes unorthodox, ways,” says Richard Rand, Robert and Martha Berman Lipp Senior Curator. “It’s been fun and refreshing to see the creativity that our public curators have brought to their exhibition efforts. We hope this project will inspire Samantha as she moves into a career in arts education.”

Jones, a native of North Attleborough, Massachusetts, made her first visit to the Clark earlier this spring to meet with the curatorial team to discuss plans for the installation of her exhibition. She finalized selections of wall colors, arrangement, and exhibition information with the team. Jones’s exhibition concludes the series of three guest-curated exhibitions at the Clark, which began in November 2012 with eleven-year-old Giselle Ciulla’s Giselle’s Remix, followed by Ashley Smith’s In/Visible: Women of Two Worlds. Everyday Nothing will be on view through April 28.

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