Last night the show I curated Women: an Exhibition opened at D center @MAP. It was fantastic. There are moments in life when things happen as one has envisioned them and it is magic. Last night was one of those nights. I know I am always partial to the artists that I curate into my exhibitions. I love them and their work. The ones that I know personally are amazing people and the ones that I don't know are just as incredible. Curating and hanging shows is one of the most enjoyable and satisfying things that I do and the culmination of all the hard work that goes into the show is the opening.

I start to think that there is something really important in the word opening - the fact that an art exhibition begins by opening. A moment to reflect on the definition of opening:
  • an aperture or gap, esp. one allowing access
  • the beginning or initial part
  • an opportunity to achieve something
  • officially admitting visitors
  • frank and communicative; not given to deception
  • not fully settled; still admitting debate
  • unfold or be unfolded; spread out  
I know that art openings are called such because it is the official time visitors are allowed to see the work and that it is at the beginning or initial part of the show, but I think that there is also great potential in an art opening. Much of the art world as I have experienced it has not been accessible or only accessible to people with certain experiences and education. This closes the opening in some way. What if instead art exhibitions and openings especially were opportunities that allow access, the chance to achieve something, an honest moment that promotes frank communication between all people, not just people within a small circle? It would be a moment that is not fully settled. There would be debate. Then there would be an unfolding and a spreading out. The exhibition and opening would be accessible and would reach a greater audience. It would be a moment of joy and inclusiveness. It would be an opening in more ways then just opening the door.

When I was helping to organize a community celebration once, my mentor said to me that everyone must be invited. It was an outdoor festival in West Baltimore and everyone was invited and it was another moment in my life when magic occurred. It was my first time organizing anything of the sort so I did not have the initial vision to match it with, but I knew in the moment that something special was happening. Art is the same - everyone must be invited and not just given the information about when the show is. There also must be a gap that allows access so that together all can achieve something great.