The Showing/Thinking Exhibition is getting underway and I am feeling a little overwhelmed.

We have a lot of ideas and not a lot of time to execute them. About 18 students and 5 professors is what makes up this dream team. In previous years, there has been a lot more emphasis on the collection aspect of this exhibition in terms of student participation. Not so much on the actual creation of the content. This year, obviously, we are in charge of collecting, coordinating, creating, and some other word that starts with a ‘C’. Which is fun and hair wrenching.

My team is in charge of beloved Dr.Willie Tolliver. He was my first english professor that took my writing and thesis seriously. I also took film and went to Ireland with him. [See featured image of him standing with our guide, Ronan, while in Derry.]  So I do have a soft spot for him. Dr. Tolliver is known for a soft voice and fierce brain. He is a one-stop shop for all things relating to African American imagery in film, media, and fashion. He’s even involved in many collectives abroad who do nothing but research that all day every day. He’s kind of amazing, so no pressure on us, right?

We were fortunate to get the big room (aka big momma room) facing the winter theatre so it gives us a lot of room for creating representations of media or film or runways. But its kind of intimidating, all that space. What if we don’t fill it enough? What if we fill it too much? What if the stuff we fill it with is also bland? What if it’s too “pop”-ey and not scholarly enough? You have to understand, Dr.Tolliver is very particular. He doesn’t like too flashy of imagery, especially when representing him. So we balance an act of showing the most “eye catching” imagery possible and showing the most authentic Dr.Tolliver possible.

Did I mention that we, the students, are making most of the material? As in, we print, paint, pin, and another word that starts with p most of the actual things you will be going to see. Dr.Tolliver is acting more as authenticity consultant. So, y’know. If the show isn’t interesting, it feels like our fault. Which is fine.

Despite my obvious hang ups on the time commitment, I am optimistic. I’m sure I will be really proud of it when it goes up in March. And then I just have to graduate. No pressure, Ana, no pressure.

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