CITIZEN CURATORS AT THE BROOKLYN MUSEUMMay 21, 2012
The era of crowd-sourcing has given us citizen journalism, Wikipedia and Yelp, and now the Brooklyn Museum is keeping pace by holding a crowd-sourced art competition to be judged by members of the public, “GO: a community-curated open studio project.” Starting Friday, May 18, 2012, the museum invited citizens and small businesses (with a special reach-out to New York City Housing Authority residents) to sign up for a weekend of open studio visits with artists in their neighborhood. Then, to connect participants, artists set up Facebook-esque profiles on gobrooklynart.org, starting June 4, 2012, to share personal information and photos of their work.
During the open studio weekend, Sept. 8-9, 2012, members of the public can nominate their favorite artists. The top choices then get judged by museum curators, and the winners get a spot in an exhibition at the museum, Dec. 1, 2012-Feb. 24, 2013.
According to organizers Sharon Matt Atkins and Shelley Bernstein, “GO” was inspired by the publicly juried Michigan competition ArtPrize, as well as the annual open-studio weekends that have become institutions in neighborhoods like Gowanus and Bushwick.
It’s actually not the first time the Brooklyn Museum has experimented with crowd-sourcing. In 2005, it held a community-curated photography exhibition. And last year, visitors to the museum’s website weighed in on the selection of works for a show of Indian paintings.
Safe to say it’s a project for which the Brooklyn Museum is particularly well positioned. According to the “GO” website, no fewer than 7.6 percent of Brooklyn residents say that being an artist is their primary profession.