Making a mini-exhibition is an opportunity to look at your environment in different ways, as well as to express yourself and your own perspectives. It also leaves a lot of room to be creative! A mini-exhibition can be a grouping of meaningful objects on a shelf in your home, an arrangement in a sidewalk square, or images hung on a wall. Mini-exhibitions can be serious or lighthearted, deeply meaningful or exploratory. They can take a few minutes or many hours to create. Read on to see examples of mini-exhibitions created by HoMA staff members at home.
Mini-exhibitions can be a selection of carefully curated objects that tell a story:
“‘killing time’ is a reflection on objects and their power to document our life experiences. With works created by my friends, family, and myself as an artist, I am considering the power of the processes of making and objecthood as a form of identity. The works included in this exhibition symbolize many gestures; of love, creativity, boredom, cultural pride, and nostalgia, themes that inform the curator’s daily life and, perhaps more importantly, my relationship with myself and others. Artists represented are Paris-based illustrator and designer, Roca Balboa; Honolulu-based photographer and ceramist Cory Lum; woodworker and late grandfather Manuel Martinez, and me, Mindi Gandara.” – Mindi Gandara, Public Programs Manager
Mini-exhibitions can be a reflection of current social or cultural themes:
“I chose these objects to highlight the deep irony in the fact that hobbies that were once considered to be ‘isolating’, ‘self-medicating’ and ‘an indication of mental illness’ are suddenly seen as ‘uniting’, ‘cathartic’ and ‘good mental exercise’.” – Marek Lopez, Jr. Systems Administrator
Mini-exhibitions can be born out of surprising sources of inspiration:
“Mini-exhibitions and dusting go hand in hand during Covid times!” – Cynthia Low, Director of Collections
Mini-exhibitions can make the viewer see the world differently:
“When cooped up, one begins to see faces, everywhere. Please meet my quarantine friends.” – Hilary Sholin, Development Officer, Database
Mini-exhibitions can incorporate elements of performance art:
“My ability to control anything during this time has gone out the window. ‘Why’ has become ‘Why not?’ especially if it’s possible. ‘If can can, if no can, no can’.” – Cori Mackie, Retail Manager
Mini-exhibitions can explore a theme, or be based around a personal collection:
“Containers organize and protect. We separate objects into various containers for storage and preservation. How do you organize people and places? Not just memorable moments captured in casual photographs, but the cumulative memories that construct a moment, a person or a place. I collect containers and keep nothing within them except ideas that resemble organization. I build containers for intangible objects. I find myself always needing and wanting to produce more to organize. This is the result of my impractical efforts.” – Marlene Siu, Exhibitions Manager
Mini-exhibitions can explore materials, texture, and form:
“I don’t know how this effusion of coral made its way into my parents’ backyard, but I like the prickly visual texture next to the old coconut’s smooth shell, along with the feathery layers of the paperbark.” – Maggie Engebretson, Marketing and Communications Manager
The possibilities are endless! If you make a mini-exhibition, post a picture on social media and tag us at @honolulumuseum. We love to see what you create.
Find more creative prompts and ideas for hands-on activities in the Ready, Set, Create! section of our #museumfromhome webpage.