LensCulture’s 2016 Street Photography Exhibition at SF Camerawork. Photo by Walker Dawson.
LensCulture 2016 Street Photography Exhibition
I was tasked to design an exhibition to showcase the winners of LensCulture's 2016 Street Photography Competition to be held at SF CameraWork in San Francisco. This was my first exhibition design and I was working remotely on the East Coast with Creative Director, Laura Sackett.
Process & Thinking
Understand the space and gather numbers. Since the gallery is in San Francisco and I am based on the East Coast, it was imperative to understand the space. Numbers were vital to set the stage for exhibition print sizes and other exhibition elements and details.
Understand the content and printing specifications. Not all award winners are equal. The first, second, and third place series winners needed to be presented in a way that was reflective of their achievement. I had to figure out a presentation that would stay within our budget, create maximum impact, and work with the limitations of the varied image files sizes.
Editing, pairing and sequencing images. This involved a bit of visual play and is typically the most fun part of my work. I printed out thumbnails of each image to get a bird’s eye view. While I was limited in pairing and sequencing by the award categories, the constraint was also a nice challenge.
Communicate the design from afar (via Slack and Appear). I used Sketch to mockup each panel along with an annotated map of the gallery space to help my team visualize the exhibition so they could offer feedback.
Coordinate with the printer and gallery. Through email and a few phone calls, I worked with the printer to nail down any printer limitations, and prepare designs to their specifications. Proofs were delivered to Laura (CD) and we coordinated the delivery of final prints and scheduled a date to hang the exhibition.
Lean on your team. Designing this exhibit from across the country seemed a great challenge. A visit to see and experience the gallery space would have been ideal; however, my concerns were minimized because our Creative Director (Laura Sackett) was familiar with the space and is based in the Bay area. If any issues arose, she could problem-solve.
Establish a system. We now have a process and system in place for future exhibitions at SF Camerawork. This includes a cheat sheet pdf for our high-resolution image request.
Turnout was great and the winners who attended the opening were grateful and “thrilled to see their work on the walls”.
Opening reception at SF Camerawork. Photos by Walker Dawson.