Student Curator Guide

What a Curator @25East Does…

Simply put, a curator at 25East organizes a group of artists around a theme or focus. As a student run gallery with the purpose of exhibiting as many Parsons Fine Arts students as possible, this means you will be organizing the work of your peers to create a vibrant exhibition that accomplishes the goal/aim of your theme/focus. The easiest way to start thinking about the curatorial process is to think about what sort of dialog you want to create and phrase that into a thematic statement/thesis of sorts and then think about the type of work or perspectives you think would make the conversation more interesting. Which of your peers work to you want to include? Then start imagining from there…

Standard Exhibition/Event Timeline:

Week A

  • Tuesday- 1st Meeting with gallery coordinator- usually @4pm- You will be given access to the curator guide, we will discuss your show, address any specific needs, and you will be given author access to the website to begin experimenting with gallery space (ie. blog post). To have access to the 25East Gallery WordPress, you’ll join via google using your new school email. Ask your artists to send you images/links to their work optimized for the web (no larger than 3000pixels in any dimension, at a 72dpi resolution). Make sure to discuss/arrange for any opening events via zoom, etc.
  • Thursday-deadline for artists to send you their image files and any text you require
  • Friday- You will submit: 1-Feature Image for 25 East Gallery website to the gallery coordinator, 2-Content for Official Parsons Social Media posts and announcements (Facebook and/or Instagram), submitted to parsonsfinearts@newschool.edu. Keep in mind that anything posted on official Parsons channels has a vetting process.
  • Saturday- Gallery coordinator will post your feature image on the 25East Gallery website. Begin structuring your post (gallery space)

Week B

  • Tuesday- Checkin meeting with gallery coordinator- Usually @4pm- Any technical issues will be discussed. If official social media announcements haven’t been made, follow up with parsonsfinearts@newschool.edu
  • Thursday- All content on your post (gallery space) should be finalized. Check links, check spelling, scrutinize design/layout. Once this is done, email the gallery coordinator
  • Saturday- Gallery coordinator may make suggestions for changes or will confirm that the post (gallery space) is ready.

Week 1

  • Tuesday-Post (gallery space) goes live. Any opening events will be hosted as previously arranged
  • Wednesday-Friday. Promote the show on your own social media platforms. Check in occasionally to engage with any comments or activity on the site

Week 2

  • Tuesday- engage with any viewer comments that have not been responded to.
  • Friday- The site will remain live and accessible through the Online Gallery tab in the menu, but the feature images and direct link to your show may be taken off of the home page to make room for the next exhibition.

Quality Images Make Quality Shows

Part of the struggle with an online exhibition is making sure that the images of the artwork represent the work to its fullest potential. This means that the colors are accurate, that details are crisp, that straight edges appear as straight edges… Editing photos takes time, which is why, as the curator, you need to decide who is going to take on that work. I would encourage you to make your artists responsible for editing and resizing their own images. You may want to share with them the links below:


Setting Resolution and Image Size

It is important that the images you upload into WordPress aren’t too large, otherwise the page will take too much time to load. As this is an art site, you also don’t want images to be to0 small.

For our purposes, please keep your images within 1500pixels and 3000pixels in any dimension with a 72dpi resolution. These image limitations are more than large enough to ensure that images show clearly when viewed in gallery mode without slowing down the loading time of the page.

The video below is a good tutorial for resizing and optimizing images.


What About Videos?

The WordPress interface has a built in design block for the following platforms:

This means that you can embed videos from these platforms directly into your post. The video below should be able to guide you through the various ways you can embed videos.


Website Feature Graphics Specifications and Dimensions

The image you submit to be featured on the 25 East Gallery homepage should follow these guidelines:

1200 x 628 pixels at 72dpi

Include a key image, the Title of your show, the opening date, dates/times for any opening events. You may also want to include the names of participating artists/curators (if you can create room)


Parsons Official Social Media and Announcements

You are responsible for reaching out to parsonsfinearts@newschool.edu if you would like your exhibition/event promoted on the Official Parsons Facebook and Instagram accounts. Do this as soon as possible to ensure posts are made before the event takes place. Keep in mind that all official postings on Official Parsons social media must go through vetting processes and procedures.

  • Title your Email “Upcoming 25East Gallery Show-Please Share”
  • Consider using the email template below when structuring your email
  • make sure to attach your image files!
  • template below can be provided as a word document upon request

Permissions of Participants and Community Agreement

You need the permission of all artists whose works are included in your show/event. Simply put artists you include in your exhibition need to know that they are being included, and you need to ask them directly for the content that is included.

It is best that you get their permission in writing (via email). You may want to utilize the community agreement format below (template can be provided in PDF form upon request):


Creating your post (ie. your gallery space)

Exhibitions are hosted on what WordPress calls a blogpost. Think of this post as your gallery space. Much of the process is self-explanatory/ you can learn a lot by experimenting with the platform. I encourage you to play around before building anything concrete. The video below can also walk you through the basics (skip the setup steps).


Finalizing your post

You’ve experimented and now you have a sense of what you can do in your post/gallery space. Think very carefully about design and layout, and make sure you keep the viewer experience easy to navigate. Double check spelling of words and your colleagues’ names.

Make sure you select a featured image and include keywords for SEO.

Once everything is finalized, make sure you confirm with the gallery coordinator that your space is set to go live


Going Live

The post will go live on the date and time indicated on the scheduler. If you notice that you post does not go live as expected, contact the gallery coordinator as soon as you can.


Opening events

As the curator for your show/event, you are responsible for hosting all events- this includes setting up the Zoom links, etc. and being there on time to run/moderate them


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