In this article, we interview Jacki Mayo, Science World's Early Learning Program and Exhibit Developer and Curator for the KEVA Gallery.
What's it like being the KEVA Curator?
Being the curator excites me, which gives me the incentive to visit the gallery often and see how families and friends interact inside. It makes me feel like I have invited people into my special home, so that they can show off their building talents! As the curator, I have a sense of ownership of the gallery. I want to ensure that the visitors enjoy themselves by providing a great atmosphere for them to build in and to make sure they have an amazing experience. One of the first things I do when I enter the building each morning is ask myself, “How is my gallery looking today?” It always thrills me when people say that I am so lucky to have this as my job.
Do you have a favourite story from your interactions in the KEVA Gallery?
There are many amazing stories. Just today, in the gallery, two boys and their mom were there for 3 hours! Quinn and James were building and asked their mom if they could stay until closing. They didn’t even want to stop for lunch. The boys wanted to know if they could add a creation to the KEVA Gallery in the permanent section behind the plastic barriers. “We think ours is as good as the other structures,” said the boys. I promised them that they could come back and build in the front part of that area to show off their talents and they were so excited to get to do that.
What is it about these two boys that really inspired you?
The boys were totally engaged in building their bridge and describing the steps to me. They had their plan figured out and continued to use the entire table to create their structure using spirals, counterbalance and artistic expression. The boys truly wanted their structure placed behind the barriers.
What is the goal of the KEVA Gallery and what is your goal as its curator?
My goal is to ensure that the gallery is clean and tidy, that the camera is charged, the floor staff have the gallery ready for visitors and that people have ample space for building. The music and atmosphere must also be conducive for building. The goal of the gallery is to inspire people to create structures using their imaginations. Creating structures with the KEVA planks uses scientific principles from disciplines like engineering and physics, in a fun and expressive way. I like to visit the gallery to find out about the visitors’ experiences. The visitors always have great stories to share and that makes my day. It makes me smile!