The Georgia Museum of Art received two awards at this year’s Georgia Association of Museums (GAM) annual conference, held in Athens Jan. 17-19.
Kathryn Hill, the museum’s associate curator of modern and contemporary art, received the award for emerging museum professional, and “Art is a form of freedom” received the award for museum exhibition with a budget less than $25,000.
Hill has demonstrated her curatorial talent through exhibitions such as “Nancy Baker Cahill: Through Lines” (on view through May 19) and “Infinity on the Horizon.” She was hired as a curatorial assistant at the museum in 2021 and recently promoted to associate curator of modern and contemporary art. Hill’s passion and collaboration have been vital for the museum.
Jeffrey Richmond-Moll, current George Putnam Curator of American Art at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, and former curator of American art at the Georgia Museum of Art, said Hill “is taking the museum to new heights, successfully acquiring works that diversify the collection and organizing shows that stretch the boundaries of contemporary art at the museum.”
The exhibition “Art is a form of freedom,” which was on view March 4 – July 2, 2023, explored the impact of arts access and higher education within the carceral system through collaborations with UGA students and faculty and the Common Good Atlanta program.
Callan Steinmann, the museum’s head of education and curator of academic and public programs, worked with UGA classes to bring reproductions of works from the museum to classrooms at Whitworth Women’s Facility, a prison in north Georgia. Women incarcerated there selected works from these collaborative art kits that resonated with them through themes of identity, incarceration and social issues. A focus on art typically excluded from the mainstream historical art narrative resulted in a meaningful and emotional exhibition, which Steinmann spearheaded.
“We hope this exhibit brings moments of self-reflection and moves you emotionally the way it has for us,” said the women who organized the exhibition. “It allowed us to think outside of the bars. We are regular people who have a voice that matters too. Our mistakes don’t define our intellect, nor do they define us.”
GAM is an annual conference that recognizes outstanding achievements in Georgia’s museum community. The private, non-profit museum and gallery association encourages professional growth within the field, aiming to increase public interest and understanding of Georgia’s museums.