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(Dis)Connected: Curating A Contemporary Art Exhibition at the Kirkland Arts Center

Project by Kayla D. Harriel (2017)

The purpose of this project was to curate a contemporary art exhibition, as part of Kirkland Arts Center’s annual exhibition program and the Emerging Curator Initiative, a collaboration between the University of Washington Museology Graduate Program and the Kirkland Arts Center. The exhibit, titled (Dis)Connected, explored the ways in which technology, specifically mobile devices and social media, impacted categorical areas of human life. The categories examined included environment, identity, relationships, and language. A primary goal of (Dis)Connected was to create a participatory exhibition space that encouraged self-reflection through contemporary art. This was accomplished by designing an interactive activity throughout the exhibition space, to stimulate participation and dialogue. (Dis)Connected was viewed by over four hundred individuals, of whom one hundred and fourteen participated in the gallery-wide activity. The analysis of the activity results suggested that technology was thought of in similar ways regardless of personal backgrounds or age. Furthermore, the participation response and positive visitor feedback, highlighted the need for interactive exhibitions relevant to the human experience. The primary limitation that emerged during this process was the challenge of designing an exhibit under minimal gallery staff direction.

Keywords: Class of 2017, museum, museum studies, museology, project, Emerging Curator Initiative, art museums, exhibitions, technology


Harriel, K.(2017). (Dis)Connected: Curating an Art Exhibition at the Kirkland Arts Center. Unpublished master’s project, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.