What Does It Mean to Curate?

To curate for me means to sift through a collection to find the best of the best. This could be informal, like posting pictures and interesting things on Pinterest for followers to see, as as Chelsea Emilie Kelly explains in her article “What does it mean to Curate?”. It could also be a profession, like selecting the best paintings and artworks to go in a museum. Although the dictionary definition of the word “curator” points in the direction of a more professional job in a museum, there’s not really another word that can be the informal replacement for the word. Thesaurus.com shows eight synonyms for curator, which are: administrator, custodian, manager, keeper, conservator, director, guardian, and steward. These words are nowhere close to what a Pinterest user would be classified as, or would like to be called. Jay-Z’s site is similar to that of a Pinterest site. He picks topics that he finds interest in and takes one representative photo to post as a little square in the mosaic of many other squares, which lead to stories.

I curate all the time in my life. When I take pictures for the yearbook or “The Daily Orange”, either the photo editors or I choose my selects to get printed. This process can be long and tedious, depending on the shoot. Sometimes I am assigned to photograph sports, and I often end with more than 500 photos to select from. I am sure most of us do some sort of curating; this could be as small as picking the best selfie of yourself to upload for your weekly “Selfie Sunday” Instagram post.

The idea of curation will affect my final portfolio because I will have to select the best works that I have done to show. I will have to edit a piece of writing to crank out the best possible sentence structures and the best way of expressing and communicating my message.


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