Since its opening ten years ago, the Clyfford Still Museum has presented more than 950 works of art by Still in over thirty different exhibitions. Yet, over two-thirds of the Museum’s art collection remains unseen to the world. In the culminating exhibition of CSM’s 10th-anniversary celebration year, You Select: A Community-Curated Exhibition hands the curatorial reins to art lovers from the surrounding Denver community and beyond.
You Select is designed to foster far-reaching engagement and appreciation of Clyfford Still’s art and artistic legacy. Unbeknownst to many, the City of Denver owns the more than 3,000 art objects held at the Clyfford Still Museum. Still gifted his art to a public entity to share his life’s work with a wide and diverse audience. He believed that art was an expression for all of humanity to enjoy and share, not just the art historians, critics, and so-called “art experts.” Like the artist himself, CSM believes that there is valuable knowledge to gain about Still’s art and the power of abstraction from the surrounding communities and passionate individuals from around the world whom we serve.
During the exhibition’s early planning phases, community members will provide input on what aspects of Still’s life and career are addressed in the exhibition and translated through his art. Results will be evaluated and organized to determine the exhibition’s core themes. Then, a public voting platform will be opened on the Museum’s website for the general public to select which works by Still best represent the central ideas and are exhibited in each of CSM’s nine galleries. Exhibition gallery text and interpretive content will incorporate participants’ perspectives on their selections and themes.
Organized by the Museum’s associate curator, Bailey Placzek, in collaboration with CSM’s director of education and programs, Nicole Cromartie, director of marketing and communications, Sanya Andersen-Vie, and director of community engagement, Sonia Rae, You Select is inspired by many other community-curated and crowdsourced projects including exhibitions at Denver Museum of Nature and Science and Brooklyn Museum.