Friday, June 26, 2009

'Out-of' Space and the Gallery as Galaxy

by Barbara Cardinale

If I had to choose a single word to describe week six, it would be 'space.' As a current student assistant for the USF Tampa Library's Special Collections department, I understand how space complications may arise due to limited room for collections and work. Each week, I dedicate five to seven hours assisting Pat Tuttle, the Special Collections department's book processor and shelf organizer. I have been working with Pat for only a month now, and thus far we have moved three collections in order to create more space for all of the new book acquisitions. Often, Pat says, "we are getting more books in, but I have no idea where we are going to put them!"

This week at CAM I really felt as though I was working in a Special Collections department. After all, a museum's collection could be considered a "special collection" in library terms. Not to mention the grant funding agency in Washington, D.C. that focuses on museums and libraries called the Institute of Museum and Library Services. For more information about, IMLS, go to:

I mention IMLS because they afforded me a scholarship and grant called the ALSTARS which stands for Academic Librarians for Tomorrow's Academic Researchers. For more information as to what the ALSTARS is about, please go to:

So space is on my mind, as fellow interns, volunteers, Peter, Shannon and I prepared for the auditors' visit on Friday, June 19th. We had to to pull and showcase eight different works from the 2007-2008 fiscal year because the University is interested in whether or not these works are present within CAM's collection. The pieces varied in size and format; the largest of the works, and the most difficult to pull from the collection was Robert Gelinas' Untitled acrylic on canvas (that, interestingly, is date unknown.) It took five people and two ladders to move the piece from its location. Once it was on our level, it took us ten minutes to decide where it should be placed for the time being. We had to move and adjust other art works and a photo-stand on the ground level in order for the required works to be displayed. A table that was already in the room needed to be free of all items so a piece of foam core could be set on it to display five additional works. These included Robert Mangold's Untitled, from Four x Four x Four (1990), two other Untitled pieces, one by Gustavo Rivera (ca. 1990) and the other by Mikhail Ivanov (1990), and two polacolor photographs by Andy Warhol titled Carolina Herrera (1978) and Cabage Patch Doll (1984-1985). Another large print was displayed, Larry Bell's Vapor Drawing (1981), but it was on the ground level so it was easy to get to and didn't need to be moved.

I can't begin to describe how excited I was to browse through The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts gift of 106 photographs and 50 gelatin silver prints from the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program. As a lover of contemporary theory, Andy Warhol's art is the pinnacle of contemporary thought and movements, as Warhol is to me one of the most famous prognosticators of the ever evolving question, "what is art?" For more on CAM's collection of Andy Warhol photographs, go to:

Although CAM's vault is designed to house art works and not display them such as Graphicstudio's vault, it is because CAM's gallery is the space for art-- a roomy space for the artist stars. I feel like I am standing on a blue moon, as I have been fortunate to see CAM's collection rotate like the planets in the sky.

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