Contest! DIY Wall Labels. . .

My publisher Greg Albers of Hol Art Books got me thinking about museum wall labels again recently.  In Greg’s honor, I thought I would host a (drum roll, please)…

Wall Label Writing Contest!

The impetus was the announcement of a panel at next year’s College Art Association meeting called “Your Labels Make Me Feel Stupid”: Museum Labels as Art-Historical Practice.

Here are five pictures, a bonus sixth at the top of this post:

I invite you to contribute a wall label for one or two or all of them—whatever speaks to you.  Please provide a title, and write as little or as much as you feel necessary.

You can interpret as creatively or liberally as you like.  Just to give a sense, I once invited friends who are not “artists” to make artworks I then put in a group show (under the title Amy Whitaker Invites Six Investment Bankers).  One friend who is an excellent economist made an entirely abstract work which his other friends titled Kissinger in a Tank Top and supplied with an accompanying essay.  So, run wild.

Email submissions to amy [dot] whitaker [at] gmail [dot] com by the end of Monday, May 16.  I’ll post the winners—as many as I can—next week.

As a slightly different format, I am also hosting a. . .

Wall Label Mad Lib Contest!

To participate, email me (also by Monday) a list of words in each of these categories:

  1. Noun (subject matter, e.g., astronomy, home economics)
  2. Noun (optional—in a foreign language or proper noun)
  3. Noun (everyday object)
  4. Noun (Platonic idea, category)
  5. Adjective
  6. Noun (geographic location)
  7. Year (decade, e.g., YYY0’s)
  8. Noun (group of people, e.g., tourists, schoolchildren, etc.)
  9. Noun (category of sensory perception)
  10. Noun (field of philosophy)
  11. Verb (something activists do)
  12. Noun (person)
  13. Adjective
  14. Adverb (describes facial expression)
  15. Noun (animal)
  16. Adverb

I’ll print the Mad Lib and top responses next week too.

Please feel free to forward to friends.  I look forward to hearing from you!

The CCA panel on wall labels is to be hosted by Cody Hartley of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and Kevin M. Murphy, Formerly of the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens and now of the Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville Arkansas.

Amy Whitaker is a writer, professor, and creative consultant. Her great passion in life right now is teaching economics to artists, which she does at California College of the Arts, RISD, Trade School, and other places. Her first book, Museum Legs (Hol Art Books, 2009), was assigned to the freshman class at RISD last year, where she was invited to give the RISD orientation keynote. Museum Legswas also recommended by the Association of Art Museum Directors and was a selection of the Authors@Google program. Amy is at work on a new book about the lives of the creative generalists. Her current consulting projects include the new William Eggleston Museum in Memphis, and being a member of the team at Locus Analytics.
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