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Information for Guest Curators
Thank you for your interest in curating an exhibit at Gutiérrez Hubbell House. Community-curated exhibits are at the heart of our work, helping us create a space where a diversity of voices, ideas, and perspectives are at home in our galleries and programs. As a community-based museum, GHH is a space where the knowledge and wisdom of our local communities, especially our neighbors in the South Valley, is treasured and shared. We hope you will join us in our goal of celebrating and preserving our memories and stories for our own communities and for all our visitors.
New to museum curation?
Don’t worry! Our exhibit development is collaborative. We are here to support all steps of the process, from honing the initial idea through installing the exhibit in the museum. Every exhibit comes together through the work of a team including Museum staff, Gutiérrez Hubbell House (GHH) volunteers, and community members, each bringing their own skills and perspectives. Here, we have provided some background on our goals and mission and what to expect throughout the process.
We are happy to schedule a gallery walk-through or discuss any aspects of your proposal in advance. Contact Site Manager Elisabeth Stone at firstname.lastname@example.org or 505-244-0507 with questions or to schedule a consultation. We look forward to working with you to bring your ideas to our audiences.
Gutiérrez Hubbell House
Gutiérrez Hubbell House shares and preserves the stories, practices, and traditions of the South Valley and its families, including the Baca, Gutiérrez, and Hubbell lineages, by stewarding our historic 1860s adobe structure as a space for public learning and preserving active agricultural and open spaces in service to our local and broader communities.
GHH shares exhibits based on all areas of our mission. We focus on the time period from the early 1700s-present day, with special emphasis on the 1850s-1920s. We interpret spaces both inside our historic structure and on our grounds in educational gardens and a working farm. We provide access to ideas through historic and replica objects, text panels, historic photographs and maps, living collections of heritage fruits, herbs, and other plants, and hand-held walking guides for indoor and outdoor spaces. Most temporary exhibits are housed in the 291 sq ft Community Gallery which has approximately 55 linear feet of exhibition space. Other museum spaces and outdoor spaces may also be incorporated into temporary exhibitions. We encourage you to be creative when it comes to how and where your ideas will best resonate with visitors.
Since opening, GHH has an established history of community-led work. We value ideas and insights from throughout our community. Guest curators work in partnership with our professional museum staff, generating exhibits that speak to local knowledge and interests. GHH cultivates a space where such wisdom is documented and shared, a repository for local history.
Our past community-curated exhibits reflect the wide-ranging interests of our community knowledge holders, from agriculture, to local history, to the arts. Looking through these past exhibit pages might help you with ideas for how we display materials and ideas through text, images, objects, and programs.
We encourage applications from a wide range of areas and perspectives. GHH is your museum and we welcome your voice and work. Exhibits may focus on history, art, local culture or environmental science and should relate to our overall mission and scope of interpretation.
We are especially interested in exhibits that focus on one or more of Gutierrez Hubbell House’s educational focus areas:
- South Valley history and culture
- The Hubbell, Gutiérrez, and Baca families
- New Mexico cultural history
- Local agricultural practices and traditions
- Traditional New Mexican adobe architecture
- Ecology and environment of the central Rio Grande Valley
- Life in the 1850s-1920s in New Mexico
Around 10,000 people visit the Museum each year and many others enjoy the grounds outside of museum hours or volunteer at the site. Your exhibit will reach a diverse audience that draws on our South Valley neighbors, the greater Albuquerque area, and tourists from throughout the state and beyond!
Creating a Welcoming Space
GHH aims to create a welcoming and inclusive space for all our visitors and community curators. No matter your background or history, we know you have a story to tell and we want to help you share that story. It is our goal to curate exhibits that reflect the many facets, experiences, and identities in our communities and to lift up stories that have not been centered in museum exhibitions. We are here to help you realize your exhibit vision and to help you share your ideas in the museum with a wide audience.
We provide multiple ways for understanding and engaging the ideas we share. Our permanent exhibits are in Spanish and English and we would love to work with you to create bilingual text for your exhibition. We include tactile, audio, interactive, and visual elements to engage many kinds of learners. We will work with you to identify target audiences and ways to create accessible, engaging exhibit and program components.
We use many strategies to ensure exhibits speak to our visitors. We strive to meet the vision for community-rooted curation articulated by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center’s Culture Lab: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/articles/142894/culture-lab-manifesto.
We will work with you to create “visitor-centered” language and exhibit design. We also embrace a strategy known as universal design. Learn more about these principles of ensuring equitable access to ideas and exhibit components at: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/odep/program-areas/employment-supports/universal-design/resources or http://universaldesign.ie/What-is-Universal-Design/The-7-Principles/.
Our Audiences and Programs
Around 10,000 people visit the Museum each year and many others enjoy the grounds outside of museum hours or volunteer at the site. Your exhibit will reach a diverse audience that draws on our South Valley neighbors, the greater Albuquerque area, and tourists from throughout the state and beyond.
We serve hundreds of school children each year in organized field trips. While most field trips are in the 1st-4th grade, we welcome all grades, as well as pre-K groups, charter schools, after-school multi-age programs, and classes from CNM and UNM. We encourage you to think about how your ideas can be shared with our younger visitors, and non-English speakers, in tours or supplementary activities.
The Museum and grounds are ADA compliant. We encourage you to contact us if there is accommodation we can provide to help you better access our programs, exhibits, and grounds. Learn more about BernCo’s commitment to ADA compliance and to ensuring our spaces are free of discrimination.
What You can Expect from Us
GHH is owned, staffed, and supported by Bernalillo County and run with extensive support from the nonprofit Gutiérrez Hubbell House Alliance (GHHA), and our large volunteer corps. Additionally, we have a large and knowledgeable community of prior curators, researchers, and partners. Through these networks, we provide support in all areas of exhibit development, production, marketing, programming, and archiving.
We will provide:
- On-going access to and support from our professional museum staff
- Consultation on all aspects of exhibit development
- Access to mentoring and advice from our network of curators, community historians, and others with relevant expertise
- Guidance on exhibition development
Content development assistance
- Access to on-site records, archives, and library as needed for exhibit research
- Editing and assistance with crafting visitor-centered, accessible text
- Graphic design support
- Secure, insured exhibition site
- Printing of exhibit panels and labels
- BernCo branded marketing and promotion through Bernalillo County’s extensive promotional and social media network and Gutiérrez Hubbell House Alliance’s dedicated lists and social media
- Exhibit mounting and production
- A corps of dedicated volunteers who will learn about your vision for audience engagement and share your ideas with our visitors
- Support in planning public programs
- Additional programming provided by the museum, in consultation with you
Closing report for your records showing visitation during your exhibition run and other data we collect on visitor engagement
Expectations for Curators
Guest curators play a vital role at GHH and creating an exhibit entails more than developing content for galleries. Please note these general expectations of curators, all of which are carried out in collaboration with GHH staff:
- Meet with GHH staff within one month of notification of your proposal’s acceptance for exhibition to jointly determine an exhibition production schedule and discuss exhibit content, concerns, and goals
- Meet the deadlines as established together in the exhibition schedule
- Coordinate all public communication with the Museum
- Review and, with assistance, meet our guidelines for protecting our historic structure, including modifying exhibited objects as mutually determined by museum staff and guest curators
- Participate in the development of programming and marketing plans
- Provide one public program
- Create, with support from Museum staff, a training handbook and, prior to exhibit opening, lead a 90-minute training for our interpretive team
General Exhibit Call Timeline
- Release: April 2021
- Program: how to plan your submissions: May 1, 11 a.m.
- June 15: submissions due
- July 1: exhibit packet sent to jury
- Aug 9: jury meeting
- Aug-Sept: notification of results and exhibit scheduling
- Nov 20: publication of annual exhibit calendar at GHHA annual meeting
GHH Exhibit Production Backward Planning Guide for Guest Curators
30-40 hours of collaborative exhibit production and editing + research and writing time prior to beginning the exhibit production process.
Week of Opening (8-10 hours)
- Exhibit Opening – Friday night, 5-7p.m.
- Saturday morning programming, generally 10a.m.-noon
- Sneak Peek for members and curator VIPs Thursday 5:30-7p.m.
- Interpretive team training -Thursday afternoon 4-5:30p.m.
- Exhibit mounting
Month of Opening (additional 8 hours)
- Final exhibit production
- Marketing and outreach
- Final program preparation
Month Before Opening (8-20 hours)
- Exhibit text and graphics finalized; postcard and other marketing finalized
6 Months Before Opening
- Regular meetings with GHH exhibit team
- Exhibit design
- Text and image revision
- Image and object permissions
Working in our Historic Structure
GHH’s museum galleries are located within a historic adobe home on the New Mexico Register of Cultural Properties and National Register of Historic Places. In order to protect the building, all exhibit mounting and hanging will be carried out by GHH staff, in consultation or collaboration with guest curators. There are numerous restrictions on how art, artifacts, and panels can be mounted and affixed. These restrictions protect the fragile adobe and plaster. We will help you identify the best way to share your text, images, and objects and assist in developing the physical components of the exhibit, including panels, cases, labels, and in hanging the exhibit.
For the protection of the historic structure and Museum collections, we reserve the right to remove any object from exhibition. We will review all objects before exhibit installation and will work with you on appropriate mitigation of potentially harmful materials. Restrictions on certain materials in the building include, but are not limited to:
- Recovered natural organic materials (wood, nests, bones, fur)
- Earth, soil, seeds, live plants
- Red beverages
- Live flame
If you plan on using these or similar materials, please make a Collections Review appointment as early as possible after exhibit acceptance notification so that we can plan for any steps needed to ensure your vision can be realized while we protect our building and collections. We reserve the right to remove or restrict exhibit content but will make every effort to ensure we reach a mutual solution that honors the intent of the original content. For more detail on how these restrictions protect museum collections, please see our Integrated Pest Management Plan or get in touch with your questions.