The curator

Sara Kennedy

Photo By David Robert

Mirror Mirror, on display at UNR’s McNamara Gallery through March 5, is the first show curated by Sara Kennedy, 25. Two of her own black-and-white photography pieces, one a mural, the other a shadow box, are in the show, which focuses on self-portraits. “My work is very body oriented,” she says. Kennedy believes self-portrait work has been underrepresented in Reno, particularly at UNR. Kennedy works in the security department at Nevada Museum of Art as the assistant manager, a sort of ironic position as one of the artist’s pieces in her show at UNR was stolen. Kennedy did an internship with the curator at NMA last January, which inspired her to do her own show, and she hopes to do more in the future, maybe even opening her own gallery, “When I’m rich.” She’ll have pieces in the upcoming Art for Auction show at NMA.

How did you select artists for your show?

All the girls I chose, I just love their stuff. I kind of went through a trial and error process. I asked a couple of people and they never got back to me. I went to school with all of the artists, except for the twins, Megan and Melanie [Berner].

What do you like about curating?

I like having the control. I like being able to have the control of choosing, deciding where the pieces go because I’m kind of a scared little nervous person.

What are the challenges of being a curator?

I discovered that artists are, not really flaky, but they do take their time. I was paranoid up until the last minute of making sure I had all the work. It was stressful. I don’t know if I would want to recreate that whole feeling. If I do it again, I’ll make sure to get the work way, way ahead of time.

There were pieces stolen from your show. How do you handle that?

There’s actually nothing I can really do except make a report with the police department on campus and put up signs. Loreen’s [Pitchford] piece that was stolen, she was very upset about it, so she took her other piece out of the show for fear of losing it, too. Actually, we found out about 20 minutes ago that her piece has been found. We have it upstairs now.

Where was it found?

Someone came to the art department who had seen the signs and said, “I know where this piece is.” Supposedly someone in the music department did it just to be mean. I think the person who brought it back was a friend of the person who stole it. He didn’t want to get his friend in trouble, so he stayed anonymous about it.

One of Mike Sarich’s pieces was stolen recently, too. How big a problem has this been?

I think in the last six months, there has been sort of a theft ring going on. There was a piece in the Valentine’s Auction that was stolen right before my show opened, as well. [An artist’s] pieces in the Front Door Gallery were harmed, but not stolen.

Did you receive any criticism over the nude pieces?

I guess a teacher came through with her class, and she was grumpy that there was nudity. That’s what I heard during the opening. Personally, I think it’s great if it causes controversy.