UH Manoa Art Gallery wins two major awards

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: May 21, 2008

UH Manoa's Art Gallery is the recipient of two major awards for the exhibition catalogue and its first educational website produced for its exhibition Excelling the Work of Heaven:Personal Adornment from China that featured jewelry and adornment made and worn during the Ming and Qing dynasties.

The awards are from the American Association of Museums (AAM), the national organization that develops standards and best practices for the entire museum community.

University of Hawaiʻi Art Gallery Director Lisa Yoshihara stated, "We are honored to receive these twonational awards from an international field of entries and be recognized by our peers. The awards reflect thequality education and professional opportunities our students receive from our faculty and staff at theUniversity of Hawaiʻi at Mänoa (UHM), Department of Art and Art History. I am deeply proud of ourwhole team that included student interns, alumni, faculty, and staff for their creativity and commitment toexcellence. We are grateful for the generous support which made this project possible: the Hawaiʻi StateFoundation on Culture and the Arts; University Research Council‘s Special Fund for Innovative andCreative Work grant; the College of Arts and Humanities; Watumull Grant for Museum Studies in the Arts,the John Chin Young Foundation; the Blodwyn Goo Endowment and private individuals."

Media & Technology MUSE AwardsThe educational website for Excelling the Work of Heaven received a bronze 2008 MUSE Award in thecategory of Teaching and Outreach from nearly 180 applications submitted by a variety of museums from North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. This year the MUSE Awards competition recognizes outstanding achievement in museum media in 10 distinct categories.

The competition, now in its 19th year,is an activity of the Media and Technology Standing Professional Committee of the American Associationof Museums. The Chicago History Museum and the National Park Service received gold and silver MUSEAwards in Teaching and Outreach.

The panel of jurors, comprised of 38 museum and media professionals from across the country, soughtentries that demonstrated outstanding achievement in content quality; interface design; functionality;production quality; visual appeal; and the user‘s experience.

For a complete list of judging criteria andMUSE Award winners visit http://www.mediaandtechnology.org/.The educational website http://www.hawaii.edu/artgallery/programs/heaven/ introduces students and teachers to the rich history, language, and traditions of late Imperial China. Online interactive activities and downloadable visual art hands-on projects engage learning about the various materials and techniques andcultural significance of the personal adornment made and worn during late Imperial China.

Detailed photographs and original illustrations give visual appeal to the website. Viewers learn about the complexhidden symbols and motifs, layered with images and audio pronunciations that focus on the Chineselanguage and highlight the prevalent use of rebuses and homonyms in Chinese decorative arts. Written content and short stories throughout the site help to exercise and encourage literary skills.

The judges commented, "Informative and beautifully designed, Excelling the Work of Heaven: PersonalAdornment from China is an example of a website that is extremely functional, given its relatively limitedproduction resources (compared to some projects by larger or more endowed organizations). Throughvisually rich graphics and animation, the site invites exploration of history, symbols, and myths aboutobjects, and includes an engaging linguistics game and other activities. Judges felt that this website trulyaddressed an educational purpose without being over-produced or complicated, allowing a pleasantexperience much like that of a peaceful museum visit."

The website was produced for the University of Hawaiʻi Art Gallery by: Graphic Design Lecturer AaronLee, web design; UHM Alumnus James Kuroda, illustrations; Watumull Grant for Museum Studies in the in the Arts student intern Elizabeth Ellenbecker and Associate Gallery Director Sharon Tasaka, research and writing; Design Assistant Wayne Kawamoto, photography; Dr. Kate Lingley and Gallery Director Lisa Yoshihara, co-curators and project advisors.American Association of Museums Publication Design Awards
Receiving an honorable mention in the category of exhibition catalogues from institutions with annual operating budgets under $750,000, the Excelling the Work of Heaven catalogue was among more than 150 books, catalogues, posters, invitations, press kits and other materials that were selected as winners of the 28th annual American Association of Museums (AAM) Museum Publications Design Competition. This competition, which attracted more than 800 entries this year, recognizes excellence in graphic design of museum publications. It is the only national, juried event for publications produced by museums of all types and sizes. Main Art Gallery California State University, Fullerton and CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts were the first and second prize winners. The complete results of the competition will be presented in the July/August 2008 issue of Museum, AAM's national magazine.Christopher Hendricks, Watumull Grant for Museum Studies in the Arts intern and graphic design student, designed the elegant catalogue for Excelling the Work of Heaven. Featuring an essay by Dr. Kate Lingley, professor of Chinese art history, and images of over 300 of the 700 objects of adornment in the exhibition, the catalogue is available for $30 plus shipping and handling from the University of Hawai'i Art Gallery.About the University of Hawai'i Art Gallery
Since its inception in 1976 the University of Hawai'i Art Gallery has developed a national and international reputation for the quality of its exhibitions and publications both in content and design. Five exhibitions received the distinguished Print Casebooks Best in Exhibition Design Awards. Many of the gallery's publications, which have increasingly emphasized the educational component of an exhibition, have been recognized in the annual Pele competition of the American Advertising Federation, Hawai'i District, and the Hawaii's 5-0 competition of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, Honolulu Chapter.

For more information, visit: http://www.hawaii.edu/artgallery