Contained: A Contemporary Art Exhibition at Kirkland Arts Center
"Contained" was produced as part of the Emerging Curator Initiative – a collaboration between Kirkland Arts Center and the University of Washington’s Museology Graduate Program. The exhibit, which opened on February 17, 2012 and ran through March 22, 2012 included works from local contemporary artists, organized around the central theme: we use containers as metaphors for thoughts and memories.
This research paper focuses on the processes and challenges that led to the creation of "Contained" and the ways in which museum exhibition development and the practices of audience research were applied in an art gallery setting. It discusses the implementation of an exhibit design theory called “The Arc of the Exhibit Process,” a design theory which featured museum-centric strategies such as the Big Idea, and as well as strategies for interpretive planning. It concludes with the results of the summative evaluation that accompanied the completion of the exhibit, which was used to evaluate the success of goals for exhibit design and visitor experience.