Integrative Research Project [IRP]

SAMC 111 INTEGRATED RESEARCH PROJECT [25% of course grade]

please note: a few details have changed or been clarified since the class handout last week (under Considerations)

Concept: Prepare/Curate an Exhibit and Event on a Critical Issue

Your team of 4 will curate of an exhibit and community event on a critical issue theme using existing works of art, theatre, and music. It is imaginary, a “dream” exhibit: in other words, you are not actually mounting this in an actual space, but rather you are developing it and documenting it, and then “pitching it” in two formats:

  1. a powerpoint presentation (single team presentation; details below)
  2. a research paper (each team member prepares their own; details below)

Here’s some definitions to help you understand the concept of curation…

“A curator (from Latin: curare, meaning “to take care”) is a manager or overseer. Traditionally, a curator or keeper of a cultural heritage institution (e.g., gallery, museum, library or archive) is a content specialist charged with an institution’s collections and involved with the interpretation of heritage material. A traditional curator’s concern necessarily involves tangible objects of some sort—artwork, collectibles, historic items or scientific collections.”

“In smaller organizations…the curator makes decisions regarding what objects to select, oversees their potential and documentation, conducts research based on the collection and history, provides proper packaging of art for transportation, and shares that research with the public and community through exhibitions and publications.”

“In larger institutions, the curator’s primary function is that of a subject specialist, with the expectation that he or she will conduct original research on objects and guide the organization in its collecting.”

“In contemporary art, the title curator is given to a person who selects and often interprets works of art. In addition to selecting works, the curator often is responsible for writing labels, catalog essays, and other content supporting the exhibition.”

[retrieved from Feb 7, 2016]


Considerations: Why? Where? For Whom? When? What? How?  THIS SECTION HAS BEEN EDITED FOR CLARITY

the following items should be covered in your research paper (1500-2000 words, double-spaced, in the style format of your choice (APA, MLA, etc):

  • title of exhibition
  • purpose/intention of exhibit and event(s) [for DS’ eyes: describe it as a curator would: why is it important, what is the intended outcome for viewers]
  • exhibition introduction text [as it would be read by the viewer as they enter the exhibit, or as it might appear in a brochure/guide to the exhibit]
  • press release [as it would appear in print or online media]
  • venue/timing/expected audience
  • exhibition design: floor map, description, and rationale [keep this reasonable, manageable, and appropriate to the nature of your theme/exhibit]
  • staging: presentation, methods of hanging, lighting, etc.
  • description of any special events: opening reception, artist talks, performance events involving music and theatre

the following items should be included as supplementary documentation for the paper, as appendices:

  • bibliography of your research
  • images, music, and video clips, etc (i.e. reproductions of the visual artworks [c.8-12], music, plays, video, etc which are included in the exhibit)
  • artist statements and biographies for each work included [c.150 words/artist for the artist statement and bio combined]

notes from Edith on writing an artist statement: The purpose of an artist statement is to provide an entry point for the viewer.  A good artist statement presents the question; it doesn’t explain the art, but it does give the viewer some place to start thinking about what the artwork means, and hopefully, beyond that, what about it is meaningful for them. It gets people thinking for themselves, rather than telling them what to think.


Presentation: in class Mar 30, 2016

Three parts: Proposal, team presentation, and individual research paper

  • A single proposal from the team is due by email to D. Squires Feb 26. It is to be a Word document, emailed to, outlining the broad scope of the project, addressing theme/purpose/intent and any other aspects which will help explain your intentions. Research paper format is not required, but sources may be included if helpful.  [5%]
  • The team assembles a PowerPoint presentation which summarizes their project with necessary images, music, and video clips. Presentation length is 5’, in Powerpoint format, submitted in class Mar 30 on a flash drive for class presentation that day.  [10%, each team member receives the same grade]
  • Each person submits (Mar 30) their own research paper presenting/documenting their team’s exhibition with all necessary image/sound/video files. The paper is to be 1500-2000 words, double-spaced, in the style format of your choice (APA, MLA, etc).  [10%, each person receives an individual grade based on their own paper]


Evaluation Criteria

  • cohesiveness of concept
  • integration of different art disciplines
  • thoroughness of planning
  • effectiveness of exhibition design
  • thoughtfulness of curatorial intent and reflection
  • quality/effectiveness of in-class presentation
  • quality of research paper


Team Dynamics

  • the team should be as interdisciplinary as possible
  • final approval of team makeup is done by D. Squires
  • strive for an equal division of work
  • each person should contribute according to their own gifts/skills, and should also move out of their comfort zone


Timeline of IRP

  • Feb 10 – teams formed
    • project parameters will be clarified, and student teams will be finalized by this date – instructors make final decisions on the team as necessary
  • Feb 15 – team huddle in portion of class
    • instructors will discuss their experiences of working on interdisciplinary projects, then student teams will begin working on their ideas in the last portion of the class
  • Feb 24 – team work in class
    • the entire class will be devoted to teams huddling to work on their project proposals
  • Feb 26 – proposals due (before leaving for Reading Break)
  • Mar 7-11 – team meetings with DS
    • in the week after Reading Break, DS will arrange meetings with each team outside of class time to discuss proposals
  • Mar 30 – IRP Exhibits
    • projects will be presented in class
    • documentation (in the form of a research paper) is due the same day

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