Like most museums, SMoCA has been closed these past few months. And while the Museum itself appears quiet, some of us have been busy working behind the scenes to take care of art and plan for the future.
The SMoCA exhibitions team of preparators and art handlers is in charge of designing and installing museum exhibitions. We are the lucky ones who get to touch the artwork, with gloves on of course, and work with artists and curators to design and fabricate every aspect of a gallery viewing space. Our team has been working in socially-distanced conditions these past few months. During this time many exciting projects have been checked off our list, we have created numerous housings for large-scale sculptures in our collection, deep cleaned the Museum building and galleries, maintained care of all artworks currently on view, installed new site-specific works by Felix Gonzalez-Torres and Kristin Bauer, set up livestreams so the public could still experience artworks like James Turrell’s Knight Rise and Squidsoup’s Murmuration from their own homes, fabricated displays for upcoming exhibitions, and designed and installed new fixtures to protect our staff and the public. While a quiet, empty museum is in many ways a dream setting for a preparator, we are also always thinking about our patrons and the best way to present artwork to them. To all of our staff, docents, patrons, donors, members, and artists: We miss you, and when the time is right, we can’t wait to welcome you back with safe and thoughtful measures in place.
Laura Spalding Best has been designing and installing museum exhibitions at SMoCA since 2006. As an artist herself, Best loves the unique challenges presented by contemporary art and enjoys working closely with artists and curators to present their work in the most ideal situation.