Skip to main content

Perspectives: Curating the WVU Libraries Exhibitions + Artificial Intelligence in Your Life

By Sally Jane Brown, WVU Exhibits Coordinator

As the curator of the upcoming exhibition at WVU Libraries exploring Artificial Intelligence (AI), I am excited to invite the WVU community to be a part of this transformative endeavor. My role as Curator involves not only collecting submissions from our community but also integrating them with captivating imagery and innovative designs to craft a compelling narrative that challenges perceptions and inspires new ways of thinking.

As I am eager to receive contributions from scholarly research to class projects, community initiatives, or personal reflections on AI’s impact, I’m also reflecting on the nine years of Art in the Libraries programming, seven of which I’ve been on board as Exhibits Coordinator, in anticipation of our Retrospective exhibit opening this fall.

Every participant, through these multi-disciplinary large and small exhibitions, adds depth and richness to our exhibitions programs, allowing us to showcase the diverse perspectives and insights of our campus and the broader community. With each exhibition, I had the opportunity not only to work with various artists and creatives, but an advisory committee to help guide the content of the exhibition.

WATER (co-curated with Megan Kruger), was the first large, collaboratively curated exhibition, in 2018-19. I remember holding a gathering of “water-minded” folks, from faculty to staff, students and community organizations, for what this might look like. I obtained submissions from artwork to scholarship and poetry to community initiatives, which were weaved together with images and design elements to create this immersive experience for our visitors (design by STICK), including installations of kayaks and skis in our central stairway (thanks Adventure WV!).

Appalachian Futures(2019-2020)  similarly garnered content from area folks on topics from diverse perspectives and the economy to music and art and beyond, all crafted together by the designer Joe Galbreath to not only present information but to craft a narrative that sparks curiosity and encourages exploration.

Beyond Appalachia graphic

Undefeated: Canvas(s)ing the Politics of Voter Suppression Since Women’s Suffrage (2020-21) blended topics and art seamlessly, to provoke thought and invite viewers to see important voting issues from fresh angles. Eve Faulkes made the in-person exhibition particularly interactive.  This was our first to inspire a series of online exhibits, as well.

Voting graphic

Food Justce in Appalachia (2021-22) featured extensive art, scholarship and notably a lot of community food work. Designer Kofi Opoku created amazing designs integrating all the disparate contributors’ elements together around Appalachian food heritage, race and gender, labor system, uneven food environments and more.

Food Justice graphic

Indigenous Appalachia (2022-23) presented a unique opportunity to highlight the discussions around Native perspectives, lands, and Indigenous people still living and making art outside of Native Nations today! Working with these folks offered a very significant means to offer a dynamic exhibition that continues to travel around the region. The unique design by Marne Zafar offered layers of Indigenous meaning, to boot.

Indigenous Appalachia graphic

Our current display, Hacking the Library, gives our visitors a chance to see perspectives, many of them from artists outside the region, on issues surrounding the state of libraries in the past and into the future. Also, librarians from across the world responded to the works, adding additional personal context to each work. Blending the images into designs, Little Fish Design used both nostalgic and future-oriented themes to make the exhibit flow.

Of course, Art in the Libraries began in 2015, some of the early exhibits include Fractured Spaces by Lois Raimondo, and obtaining photography by Betty Rivard, and the light-up displays at the Health Sciences Library. The program has developed into an initiative offering exhibit awards, student displays, and other projects like the Morgantown Art Guide, Inclusive Portrait Project, and Laptop stickers.

As I gear up to design the first large exhibit without the tutelage of a professional (this will not only save resources but offer a layer of AI, as I will use AI design sites to help me), I would love to hear from anyone who has participated in our exhibits in the past–whether a small or large show, solo or group.  How did the experience impact you or your work? What new perspectives did you glean? Feel free to reach out to me,, or find the response form on the Retrospective exhibit page.

As for submitting to the Artificial Intelligence exhibit, you can see that the main work falls on my lap. All you need to do is tell me how AI has impacted your life or will–check out our Library Guide for inspiration. Feel free to send me a note or find the submission form on the Artificial Intelligence exhibit page.

The AI exhibition will be displayed at the Downtown Library in 2025 and accessible through a virtual platform online. Additionally, the exhibition will travel to WVU Beckley and Keyser campus libraries, extending its reach and impact, and offering a unique opportunity to highlight your work and/or perspectives. We are looking for a broad range of projects and perspectives, from the positive to the negative, from small to big.

I hope you consider submitting! Your participation will not only enrich the exhibition but also contribute to a broader conversation about the intersection of AI and society. Speaking of AI, this blog was written with help from ChatGPT and Grammarly!