Life in Plastic:
A Collaborative Installation by Students in the First-Year Seminar “Curating for Change”

April 26 to June 3, 2019


In the spring of 2019, St. Lawrence University’s First Year Seminar “Curating for Change” introduced the concept of curation as a research method, allowing students to explore their relationships to others in their immediate surroundings and within the larger world. Students curated two types of exhibitions: a smaller photo-voice exhibition discussed in class and a larger collaborative exhibition at the Richard F. Brush Art Gallery. Working through curation, students created new knowledge around a chosen topic and completed the successful production of an exhibition, including planning, installation, and promotion.

Since curating was new for students in the class, the project posed many challenges. Students built the exhibition from the ground up, studying the work of other artists and galleries, and learning how to express their ideas. Instructor Melissa Proietti, a Montréal-based curator herself, assisted throughout the entire process.

The installation, comprised of plastic bags and aluminum cans that have been transformed into flowers, also includes photographs from St. Lawrence University’s permanent collection depicting the results of human interactions with the natural world. Photographers include Berenice Abbott, Lewis Baltz, Gary Braasch, William Eggleston, Mark Klett, and Paul Strand.


Hannah M. Anderson
Claudia A. Barbera
Charlotte Childs
Olivia N. Erwich
Cristian J. Forgione
Frances R. Hubbard
Jenna J. Koelling
Hannah N. Lumbra
Katherine S. Parsons
McShane E. Sneath
Evgenija Stankoska
Chloe E. Stavinoha
Phoebe J. Taitz
Claire E. Wergin