Opening in the Harn’s Rubin Photography Gallery is a “first” for the museum: a staff curated exhibition. Thirty-four staff members volunteered to choose a favorite photograph from the collection and write about it from their own perspective. In all, forty photographs (some chose two) with individual texts will be exhibited together. This exciting group-curation aligns with a major component of the Harn’s strategic plan: to be inclusive, diverse, and representative of the university and greater Gainesville community it serves, not least, the people who work at the Harn.

A museum is more than the artwork on the walls. It is a place of staff ideas and collaborations. We are a passionate collective from a variety of backgrounds and lifestyles. What Windows and Mirrors provides is a window through which we come to know one another differently, and to be seen, understood and valued a little bit better. By removing the standard one-point perspective (usually a curator’s), and offering an expansive response to the question, “who is best equipped to write about art?,” the exhibition mirrors the meaningful thoughts and feelings residing within the people who are the engine of the Harn Museum. This is a profoundly creative act.

Art occupies a unique space in all our lives. It rouses memories and curiosities about people, histories, livelihoods, spiritual longings, injustices, travel, and more. With Windows and Mirrors, the staff makes these enquiries visible and resonant. The result is a fascinating, revealing survey of the Harn’s awesome workforce, many of whom are also artists, musicians, scholars, activists, mothers/fathers, partners, animal lovers, and seekers. You will experience images and texts that are moving, truthful, sometimes critical, but most importantly, a perfect declaration of who art is for. Each and every one of us.

– Carol McCusker, Ph.D.

This exhibition is made possible by the Curator of Photography Endowment and the Harn Annual Fund.