Hanging art at the President’s House

Hanging art at the President’s House

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Back in January, my friend and former ShopColumbia colleague, Shannon Bourne, asked me to help her hang a small show at none other than the President’s house. President Warrick Carter, that is.

Shannon had been asked by the President’s office to curate an exhibition of student work at the President’s house. Every year, President Carter chooses student artwork to be displayed at his house to showcase the talent of Columbia’s students to the regular visitors he receives. The art is on the wall for around four months, in which time it can be bought by guests.

This year, Shannon chose ShopColumbia artist and Illustration major Yael Orellana. His work is based on street art, comics, and animation. He works with, and on, a variety of media, and his style bridges the divide between fine art and illustration. I highly recommend heading to ShopColumbia to check out his work.

When Shannon asked me to help, I jumped at the chance. How many people get the opportunity to install a show at the President’s house? One very cold January morning, I biked to the President’s House with a bag of tools, including a level that stuck ridiculously far out of my bag. After being welcomed by his assistant, we began un-wrapping Yael’s art. Some of the pieces were small paintings on slices of tree trunk. Others were large format works on particle board. That stuff is heavy to hang! Shannon and I worked out where they would be best situated and within an hour and a half we had everything on the walls. It looked great.

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Fast forward a month or so, and I received a very posh looking invitation to the opening reception! I stuck it right on my fridge and promptly, but entirely by accident, forgot about it (it has been a busy semester). Anyway, last week I got a text from Shannon at around 5pm on the day of the event reminding me of the reception taking place in an hour’s time! I dropped everything, rushed there with her, and made it right on time. We were welcomed by the President, enjoyed some canapés, and checked out Yael’s fine work. The artist himself was there and explained his methods. It was great to see a Columbia student’s work make the transition into such a high profile setting.

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