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Somewhere Behind, Somewhere Ahead: Albright-Knox Exhibit Features Stella Hobart, Nicole Xu

“Our exhibit, Somewhere Behind, Somewhere Ahead, gives a physical and interpretive representation of movement,” Anna Brown said at the exhibition celebration of the Future Curators exhibit at the Albright-Knox Museum. “Every piece selected shows the viewer specific aspects of this idea, and can be relatable to everyone at any stage of life.”

This exhibit features student art selected by other students. From almost 600 pieces submitted, only 48 were chosen to be displayed. Out of those, two pieces were made by students from Williamsville East High. Senior Stella Hobart and junior Nicole Xu both had their art chosen by the team of curators.

“I was absolutely thrilled to be one of the few artists selected,” Hobart said. “So many talented artists from New York and Ontario submit work. I’m amazed mine was chosen.”

Half of the art is displayed in Albright-Knox, with the other half in the Buffalo Center for Arts and Technology. Nicole’s piece can be found in the former, whereas Stella’s is in the latter.

The art at the Albright-Knox will be viewable until the 12th, whereas the art at the Buffalo Center for Arts and Technology will only be viewable until the 5th.

To view the exhibit people have to pay for entrance to the Albright-Knox or the Buffalo Center for Arts and Technology.

The team of curators also has two East students: juniors Anna Brown and Monique Fairer. They got the opportunity to create this student art exhibit with 18 other students as part of the AK Teens: Future Curators program.

Future curators “learn about the different components of creating an exhibition, meet with various Albright-Knox staff members, and organize an exhibition of artwork by local high school students,” according to the museum’s website.

The students were responsible for going through all the pieces submitted, choosing the ones that fit a theme they create, designing the exhibit, and more. They began their work in January, with their Albright-Knox exhibition celebration on April 11th and the Buffalo Center for Arts and Technology exhibition celebration on April 18th.

The theme created by the curators, called Somewhere Behind, Somewhere Ahead, is movement – physical, spiritual, or psychological.

Brown said she and her team chose that theme because “it’s a reflection of how we all move through our life.”

She decided to apply for the program because she “wanted to see what it would be like to work on choosing pieces for a museum and what goes into a museum exhibit.” She went on to explain that as someone who is used to creating pieces of art, “constructing an exhibit out of them was an interesting change.”

Her time as a Future Curator has been a real learning experience for Brown. Planning on minoring in museum studies in college, she wishes to “learn more about what it means to be a curator” and was surprised by “how many people go into creating an exhibit.”

Hobart was very excited when she learned her piece had been selected. Her piece shows two refugees with empty white eyes staring hauntingly at the viewer. The two people have phrases written over them in jagged lettering, such as “ILLEGAL CRISIS,” and “WE’RE SAYING NO.”

Hobart was inspired to create her piece, titled Difference, by the discrimination refugees often have to deal with.

She said, “When people use negative words like ‘illegal,’ ‘terrorists,’ and ‘freeloaders’ to describe refugees from war torn countries, they’re using those words to describe someone’s mother, daughter, son, father, etc.”

Xu’s piece, called Nicole & Co., is an abstract statue showing an amalgamation of different subjects, such as a man in a cage, a ship sailing through stormy waters, and half of a mysteriously shaped clock.

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