Thoughts on this unique display, on view through 2014, by two of its coordinators.
What do you get when you ask the staff of an art museum to submit artwork for a staff show? Inter-department collaboration and a lot of artistic talent, apparently.
After Hours: Work by Joslyn Staff opened on Friday, November 28. The show is located in the southwest gallery on the lower level of Joslyn’s Memorial building, in a space that is being redefined to showcase displays which provide a glimpse into Museum-community partnerships (watch for the Quilted Conscience, coming next year) or to celebrate recent collaborative projects.
This was certainly a collaborative project that encompassed many different departments of the Museum. I first heard of the staff show earlier this year when I was asked to assist Joslyn’s Community Outreach Coordinator, Maranda Allbritten, with the installation. Joslyn’s current Weitz Family Fellow, Jukie Tsai, was also on board. If you take a look at our job titles (I am Joslyn’s Marketing Assistant), you will notice that they suggest we do not normally do art installation — which is true, we don’t. Fortunately, we all had some experience in installing prior to this show, and the Curatorial and Collections staff was happy to assist whenever we knocked on their door to ask for help.
As the week of submissions came around, we were unsure of what the turnout would be, but in the end we received over 50 pieces by 24 staff members. That’s nearly a third of Joslyn employees, with at least one member from every department. We knew that Joslyn staff contained some very talented artists, but the quality of all of the work is astonishing. Everyone has a different style, and the featured works include everything from paintings to ceramics, to prints, and even painted sticks!
Next time you are at Joslyn, take a look at After Hours: Works by Joslyn Staff on your way downstairs to visit BAM! It’s a Picture Book: The Art Behind Graphic Novels and the new Art Works space. You will notice on the labels that we didn’t include any titles or dates – just the artist’s name and their job title. It is a staff show after all, and we wanted you to see what we do during the day as well as after hours.
Candace Berger, Marketing Assistant
A staff exhibition at an art museum equals a gallery full of surprise!
After Hours: Works by Joslyn Staff is the first of what promises to be several installations being showcased in a new, re-imagined space of our beautiful and ever-changing building. This area of the Museum, located near the education department, will celebrate collaborative projects, showcase works from community partnerships, and simply be an available space for the unexpected opportunities that come our way.
There’s a lot of moving and shaking, planning and doing in this city . . . and at Joslyn! So much so that we sometimes almost miss events happening within our own walls. Having a dedicated viewing space to highlight some of these programs, partnerships, and, now, staff is a much needed pause amidst the flurry! An area to be curious, ask questions, and reflect on how we’re using our time and resources, and how (and if) it matters.
It’s safe to say that most, if not all, of us here at the Museum have spent a bit of time with this staff exhibition, and that’s great feedback because I don’t think any of us knew what to expect as we sent out the call for submissions. Will people feel apprehensive about submitting? What if they don’t?! Do we have enough people working outside of work to fill up the space? This is one reason why, from my biased opinion, Joslyn is so great and why I enjoy this show so much, because from sing-alongs, to drag shows this crew loves to sprinkle magic (sometimes blindly!) and see what happens . . .
After Hours is a reminder of what a fantastic team and organization this is, one that shares, respects, and supports the efforts of its staff — both on the clock and beyond! A place that values adventure and learning as you go.
Thanks to all the staff – and you, Omaha! – for making our museum a top notch place to work and play!
Maranda Allbritten, Community Outreach Coordinator