The Hunter Museum of American Art announces it received a 2020 Southeastern Museums Conference Silver Award for Exhibitions for its fall 2019 exhibition Noel W. Anderson: Blak Origin Moment, and Silver Awards for both Gallery Installations and Campaigns in the Technology category. The SEMC Competition recognizes excellence in the use of technology within southeastern museums and celebrates the accomplishments of their work.
“The Hunter has worked hard to better engage our diverse audiences through exhibitions and interactive opportunities that reflect a broad range of backgrounds and experiences. We’re honored to receive these awards, and are grateful that SEMC recognized our efforts,” said Hunter Museum Executive Director Virginia Anne Sharber.
The Silver Award-winning exhibition Noel W. Anderson: Blak Origin Moment featured distorted paintings and tapestries exploring the evolving makeup of Black male identity. This exhibition was closely tied to issues of racial injustice, and received recognition in Burnaway and Art Forum.
The Gallery Installation Silver Award in the Technology category was presented for a custom-built,
interactive screen inspired by Glenn Ligon’s artwork Untitled (I Am Somebody), a loan from Art
Bridges now on view in the Hunter Mansion. The digital screen, which hangs next to the Ligon work, prompts visitors to reflect on identity and to fill in their own response to “I Am ___.” As more people participate, their words accumulate and become muddled and illegible, mirroring Ligon’s original artwork.
Additionally, a social media campaign launched last year to engage the community with the same Glenn Ligon loan from Art Bridges was honored with a Campaign Silver Award in the Technology category. "By providing context for the artwork, and comparing it to others in the collection, the campaign allowed audiences to learn more about the artist, the meaning of the piece, and engage in critical thinking about the subject," officials said.
As technology has gained importance throughout the museum field, expectations and standards were exceptionally high for this year’s applicants, officials said. The SEMC Technology Competition received a record-breaking number of applications from a wide variety of museums across the southeast.
Winning entries were expected to demonstrate innovation, effective design, accessibility, creativity, and recognition of institutional identity. Recipients of the awards were judged by an appointed jury of museum professionals across the region who specialize in the fields of digital media and technology.
The award winners were announced on Oct. 14 during the virtual 2020 Southeastern Museums
Conference Annual Meeting. This designation recognizes the Hunter Museum’s contribution to
professional standards in Southeastern museums.