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“Mapping Truths”: Reflecting a Community

Project Thesis by Siri Benn

The purpose of this project was to develop an exhibition as part of the Emerging Curator Initiative, a collaboration between the University of Washington Museology Graduate Program and Bellevue Arts Museum. The exhibition, titled Mapping Truths, was designed for BAM’s Community Education Gallery (CEG) with the purpose of best utilizing the CEG by prioritizing community engagement through curation and programming strategies. Mapping Truths was designed to focus on the ability maps can provide in visualizing their maker’s conceptions of community. The goal of this focus was to inspire personal reflection and active dialogue between visitors about conceptions of their communities by providing examples of ways in which local artists have done the same. The major activities of this project were researching artists and artworks that fit the theme of maps and community, securing artworks, and developing programming for different audiences. Mapping Truths was initially designed to be on display from April 10 – mid-September 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and state- mandated stay at home orders; the exhibition was postponed, with a potential opening date tentatively planned for June of the same year. At that time, the designed exhibition will be implemented, with the hope that BAM will be seen by its visitors as an institution genuinely invested in engaging with its community.


Benn, S. (2020) Mapping Truths: Reflecting a Community. [Unpublished master’s project]. University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.


Curation, Exhibit, Emerging Curator Initiative, Community engagement, Developing programming