Asheville Art Museum receives two awards at Southeastern Museums Conference

Press release from Asheville Art Museum: 

ASHEVILLE–The Asheville Art Museum is pleased to announce they are the recipient of two 2017 Southeastern Museums Conference Awards in the categories of Technology and Exhibitions. The competition recognizes creativity, innovation and leadership in Southeastern museums.

The Technology award recognizes both the Asheville Art Museum and UNC Asheville for their collaborative effort to tell the stories of artists and behind-the-scenes work at the museum. During the fall 2016 semester, the Museum partnered with UNC Asheville’s Department of Mass Communication as a case study for its Multimedia Storytelling for Journalism course. Students in the course, who ranged from mass communication to environmental science majors, learned how to research story ideas, interview sources, design compelling stories and produce story narratives in multiple media formats: written story, a photo story and a short-form video.

“This award celebrates the efforts of our mass communication students and the staff at the Asheville Art Museum,” said Sonya DiPalma, associate professor of mass communication and instructor for the multimedia storytelling course. “The opportunity for students to tell the stories of the various artists showcased at the museum provided rich insights, knowledge and experience far exceeding any textbook or lab exercise. We value and deeply appreciate the time of so many staff members and artists who worked with our students.”

“Congratulations to our students and the Asheville Art Museum for providing an example of community engagement and cooperation at its best,” said Joe Urgo, provost, UNC Asheville. “The public liberal arts education at UNC Asheville translates into real world opportunities for creative collaborations that extend far beyond the classroom.”

The Exhibition award recognizes the Asheville Art Museum’s 2016 exhibition Vault Visible: Behind the Scenes, which gave visitors an unprecedented look at the mysteries of museum work by providing one-on-one interactions with museum professionals at work in the gallery, presenting displays about collections care and stewardship, and re-creating a section of art storage in the galleries.The Exhibition Competition focuses attention on exhibitions of merit that are well designed, have educational value, and treat objects with care and respect. The competition showcases the best in the profession and provides benchmarks for regional exhibition efforts in southeastern museums. ..

“The Museum is delighted to receive an award for our Vault Visible exhibition. The SEMC awards recognize excellence in museums across the southeast region, and we are proud to be part of this group of leading museums,” said Associate Curator Carolyn Grosch. “We care deeply about the care and stewardship of our collection and want to help others care for their own treasured objects. We hope to offer more collections care programming as we look to the future and our new building.”

The award winners were announced at an awards luncheon during the 2017 Southeastern Museums Conference Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA in September. There to receive the awards and represent the Asheville Art Museum were Associate Curator Carolyn Grosch and Curatorial Assistant Lola Clairmont.

These awards recognize the Asheville Art Museum’s contribution to professional standards in Southeastern museums. More information about the awards can be found at www.semcdirect.net.

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About Thomas Calder
Thomas Calder received his MFA in Fiction from the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program. He has worked with several publications, including Gulf Coast and the Collagist. For his weekly #tuesdayhistory tidbits on Asheville, follow him on Instagram @tcalder.

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