What’s It Like to Be a Design Curator?

When fall comes around, so do great memories of fresh school supplies and fun field trips. Tag along with students from Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy on a recent mentorship design outing in this recap by our guest blogger, Jarrod Joplin:
On an early autumn day in September, AIGA Colorado, the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design (RMCAD) and the Denver Art Museum (DAM) sponsored a group of freshmen and sophomores from Denver’s newly formed Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy to tour the Now Boarding: Fentress Airports + the Architecture of Flight exhibit at the Denver Art Museum. The goal of the field trip was to learn what it’s like to be a design curator. To that end, the students were warmly welcomed by Darrin Alfred, the museum’s associate curator of Architecture, Design & Graphics. Darrin shared insights about the profession of curating and gave an overview of the exhibition and how it was put together.


Students toured the galleries and explored the roles that architecture and design play in society. They navigated each space, taking in the interpretive information and making notes. You could see their curiosity open up as the exhibition challenged their preconceived notions about curating content. Overhearing their conversations, many of the adjectives used to describe the exhibition were “cool,” “interesting,” and “I never thought about that!” As we were leaving the exhibition, a teacher said, “I believe they are really starting to get it!” And ‘getting it’ is good, because everything the students learned on the trip will inform decisions they’ll make as curators of their own art gallery space this year at Kunsmiller.


Overall, it was a great mentorship experience, forging a relationship between Colorado creatives, students, and faculty. Special thanks to Darrin Alfred and Amber Atkins for helping to make the trip a success!


Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy 
is a public magnet school and is one of the few public arts schools serving students in grades K-12. Classroom environments are based on research that includes active learning, experiential investigation, and integrated arts.

By becky.clark
Published November 7, 2012
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