List Gallery Intern provides insight into artist’s methods

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

A second List Gallery collage workshop was held in Underhill Library this past Saturday. Organized by List Gallery intern Yuan Liu ’09, this marks one of several projects that Liu will be involved with during the academic year. Her next project is a gallery talk in the List on December 10 about visiting artist, Hiroyuki Hamada.

Liu’s Collage workshop was inspired by the work of visiting artist Peter Paone, and a former student of Paone’s, Paul Zecher, was among the participants. All the participants received archival collage materials from the gallery for creating their own collages. Liu particularly selected this type of material because it is acid-free and will not yellow with age.

Liu is currently preparing material for her gallery talk on Hiroyuki Hamada’s exhibit at the List. One important characteristic of Hamada’s work is the heightened experience of directly viewing it. Liu noted. “Sculpture, more than anything, is something you should see in a space… Hamada’s works have such a commanding presence and shows dimensionality and time. He works and re-works his pieces. They have layers of materials, actions.”

Following previous interns Andrew Scott Taylor ‘09 and Rory Sykes ’07, Liu’s internship with the List Gallery allows her to experience the various tasks involved in operating a gallery. The internship is funded by Harvey S. Shipley Miller ’70, sole trustee of the Judith Rothschild Foundation, and was created in the 2006-2007 academic year.

Andrea Packard, director of the List Gallery and herself an alumna of Swarthmore college and a working artist, notes that the internship prepares students for all aspects of gallery-work. Liu concurs in observing that her experiences in the List are “a great translation of the skills that I’ve learned in Swarthmore.”

Liu has also had the opportunity of working at a private gallery in Nantucket and at the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers in New York. The experience of working in a non-commercial gallery like the List, however, is markedly different. Liu has appreciated the difference noting that, “It’s not about selling. The artist gets to express the cohesive ideas that they want to present to the public.”

As Packard explains, “The purpose of a commercial gallery is to sell. Ours is to research, to inform, to catalyze dialogue, and generate an exchange of ideas… People come here not just to consume the work but to develop, to see art not as a commodity but as an analytic tool.”

The highlight of Luis internship has been studio visits, particularly since she herself is a studio artist. “They’ve been especially rewarding for me. It’s really helpful as a working artist to see how an artist’s work is organized and what informs their work.”