On April 12th, 2013 the Kemper Student Council hosted its annual Vault Party. This event is an opportunity to display artworks from the Kemper Art Museum permanent collection (many of which rarely get an opportunity to shine on the museum walls) in a student organized one-night-only art exhibition. The Friday night event and happy hour hosted hundreds of visitors throughout the night, including some who might never have visited the Kemper otherwise. The Kemper Student Council acts as a liaison between the Museum and the student body and the annual Vault Party helps us achieve our main goal of increasing awareness and interest in the Kemper Art Museum among students. As a senior who has been part of the Kemper Student Council for two years now, watching both KSC and the Vault Party grow has been tremendously exciting.
This year, the Kemper Student Council chose to highlight works from the Kemper’s permanent collection that emphasized processes that artists use to create their works. In part, the inspiration for the subject of “The Artist’s Process” was the then current exhibition at the Kemper Georges Braque and the Cubist Still Life, 1928-1945 as it highlights the materials, working process, and artistic evolution of Braque during his mid-career period. Like most other art museums, the Kemper can only display about 1-2% of the total collection holdings at a time. Therefore, the other main impetus for the creation of “The Artist’s Process” was the opportunity to display important, influential, and beautiful works within the permanent collection that aren’t often included in exhibitions at the museum. The artworks not on view stay safe in storage, also known as the “vault” – thus the name of the Kemper Student Council’s annual Vault Party.
The focus of “The Artist’s Process” was the assembly and organization of a group of diverse, seemingly incongruous, objects that are related by the importance of the artistic process to the finished work. The media represented in the one-night-only exhibition were wide-ranging: Paintings, tapestry, photography, prints, and performance works all signified some element of the artist’s process. The variety of processes characterized the selection of works included in the show. While it is obvious that painting and performance art are created differently, the artistic approach varies widely within a single medium and “The Artist’s Process” aimed to exemplify these variations. It is because of these divergent processes that the artists were able to create thought-provoking and affecting works. The Kemper Student Council found limitless inspiration in these processes as well as within the permanent collection. We really enjoyed being able organize this one night only pop-up exhibition.
By Rachel Schorr (May 3, 2013)