by Erika Mehlhaff
Art serves as a powerful way to transcend boundaries, evoke emotions, and tell stories. Curating art is an intricate process that involves selecting, organizing, arranging, and presenting artworks in a way that conveys a meaningful message when displayed together. Collecting art allows artists and art enthusiasts to connect through the narrative presented.
Curating art requires a discerning eye, a deep understanding of artistic styles, and an appreciation of the messages behind each piece. The process of curating art begins with the careful selection of artworks that resonate with a central theme. This theme can range from a particular art movement to a broader societal issue, creating a cohesive narrative that guides the audience through the exhibition.
At the heart of curating is collecting. Art collectors passionately seek out and acquire artworks, amassing pieces to build a meaningful collection that reflects the collector in one or more ways--be it personality, personal values, etc. Collectors often form distinct connections with artists, attending art exhibitions and gallery shows, as well as visiting artist studios. They do this as a way to gain greater insight into artists’ creative processes and enrich their understanding of the art itself.
Curating art is a labor of love that can bridge a gap between an artist’s creativity and his or her audience’s engagement with the art piece(s) created. Avid art enthusiasts in the Austin, Texas area might enjoy viewing and purchasing pieces created by the artists of Art From the Streets to add to their curated collections. Art From the Streets is an arts nonprofit organization that provides a safe and encouraging environment for transient artists and those at risk of homelessness to explore their creativity and make art. Art From the Streets provides their services with a mission that includes an understanding that “focusing on housing alone does not achieve other equally important goals that are relevant and motivating to improving and sustaining a quality of life”.
Volunteers with Art From the Streets connect directly with the underserved community in the capital city, through art. Each volunteer supports the Art From the Streets program as needed; some do so through studio facilitation, helping with gallery installations, workshop instruction, community building, etc. By seeing the need and stepping up within the Art From the Streets organization, volunteers are making a real difference in the lives of the artists served. Art lovers in Austin are invited to attend the Art From the Streets Volunteer Curation Gallery Show on September 2, 2023, from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. If you miss that chance, don’t worry: there is another opportunity ahead on September 21, 2023, from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM. Note: Art From the Streets holds gallery shows on most first Saturdays of each month, from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM.
Art From the Streets is an Austin-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established in 1991 to give transient people a way to develop as artists and use their creativity to climb out of homelessness. Purchasing artwork supports the artists directly. Donating to our program helps us to offer a free Open Studio for the homeless and at-risk.