Making Work: In Usdan Gallery with artist Allana Clarke (VA4316.01)

Anne Thompson

In this course, a small group of advanced students in sculpture and film/video will work as production assistants to Allana Clarke for her solo exhibition in Usdan Gallery. A Trinidadian-American artist, Clarke is known for using materials such as sugar, cocoa butter and hair-bonding glue to construct innovative works that confront histories of colonialism and Western standards of beauty. As part of her Usdan exhibit, Clark will be in residence at the College for three weeks to construct a 25-foot-long floor sculpture, her largest artwork to date. This construction will happen inside the gallery during the start of the exhibition. Clarke’s process—as part of the exhibit—will be filmed, and the resulting film will join the Usdan display. Three advanced sculpture students will assist with making the sculpture. Two advanced film/video students will assist with making the film. (Enrollment is 5 students total.)

The course will run the first 7 weeks of term, but work will be concentrated around the time Clarke is in residence—roughly September 14-October 2. The work schedule with Allana will be determined closer to the time, so interested students should allow for flexibility.

Course requirements: Readings and a short assignment in preparation for working with Clarke; hands-on work with Clarke in the gallery; and a follow-up written account of your experience.

Learning Outcomes:
_hands-on experience being an artist's assistant
_understanding the role of an artist's process in the exhibition context
_collaborative engagement with gallery procedures
_matching research into an artist's practice with in-person communication with the artist

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: Previous 4000-level coursework in sculpture or film/video. Interested students should contact Usdan Gallery Director and Curator Anne Thompson (
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 1
TBA (1st seven weeks)
Maximum Enrollment: 5
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: All courses , Updates , Visual Arts (VA) , Fully In-Person