Comments on Connections: Aside from the actual cultural content, the next best way of viewing a piece or collection of art is in some sort of exhibit. Svetlana Alpers stresses the importance of any exhibit being a "way of seeing". I feel that our virtual exhibit as a whole proves a viable portal into the lives of the Northwest Coast native americans, the Yoruba of Nigeria, and the Oceanic peoples on which we concentrated our studies during the past semester. Though the selection of individual themes was somewhat random, it worked out  that with all of them taken together, one can learn about almost every aspect of these remote peoples. Each theme is distinctive, and yet they all tied together to form a very comprehensive virtual exhibit. The only problem I have with the exhibit itself is that it isn’t easily navigable. There is no way to easily walk through each of the individual exhibits except by returning to the message wall and clicking on a new name…however, I believe this is a minor problem. (The exhibit has become more navigable as a result of this comment.JB)
     Overall, I feel this project was successful as well as ground-breaking. We served as the guinea pigs for a new generation of museum curators! I feel that as a class (when everything was finally completed, of course) we fulfilled the expectations set before us…and we might have had a little fun, too.  (DE)
Each person's set of images captures the viewers attention and stimulates their visual palette...Three areas of the world are brought together and visually their similarities and differences create a visual playground for a viewer to contemplate...Seeing each image side by side for each category allows the viewer to better examine the aesthetic differences of each object and see how it relates to the commonalties between each image.
     A concept chosen by each person was examined and then...through a common theme that brings the images together, the audience can now see the similarities that each culture may have through a conceptual point of view...(It also) gives the viewer the ability to focus his or her own ideas about that concept...In everyone's exhibit, the images demonstrate each concept that has been established... (and) in every case the curator helps the viewer understand their concept through their label copy and then in more depth throughout their links that they had established on top of the label copy. There is also a small introduction that accompanies the title of the exhibit which states the concept and then gives a brief statement that backs up the introduction. The title also helps to introduce the exhibit, giving the viewers a clue about what they are about to learn...Everyone stated their references and sources when and where needed giving the credit where credit was due. Overall the exhibit is a success due to the dedication of our professor and the hard work of both professor and student. In combination we as a team have created an exhibit online that is proof of the bridges across three different cultures.(IP)
The exhibit is very different than what viewers are used to, yet it is in a way far more interesting. Each exhibit was carefully chosen it seems and really well put together, (although) some accomplished (their goals) better than others...This exhibit was good overall, it was very interesting because it is interactive and allows the viewer to go a bit further than they can in a museum.   (JS)
"The museum effect . . . is a way of seeing," according to Svetlana Alpers. Museum exhibits attempt to turn artifacts into objects of art, and this online exhibit is no exception. The introductory statements and labels served as tools to aid the viewer in understanding the cultural context from which the images emerge. All exhibitors were able to bring images from Yorubaland, the Native American Northwest Coast and New Guinea together and find a common connection between the three, although to varying degrees.  (CS)
The overall exhibit was an impressive mixture of images from the three cultures.  We were successful at making visual connections across the three cultures and then elaborating on their conceptual connections across the three cultures in the label copy. Through different approaches and degrees of contextualization, we were able to maintain our individuality and provide different perspectives on the three cultures. It was interesting to look at the variety of information presented that could cause the viewer to reflect on the cultures in many different ways through art forms: the impact of Western culture, women's position and role in each culture (social organization), ceremonial costumes and music, spirituality presented through small sculpture and architecture, and the political organization of the cultures. In light of this, there is a lot to learn about these three cultures and the function of art in presenting them...
     Through our online exhibit, we have shown the importance of not only representing art in its visual form, but also including contextual information in order to allow the viewer to better understand the culture in which the art form is used. By comparing different image categories across three different cultures, we have also provided elements of comparison that can show the universality of characteristics and practices throughout different cultures in the world. This enhances how the viewer looks at the world and other cultures in relation to his or her own. By creating this exhibit we have made people smarter about the world and its peoples.   (AW)