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High Museum YouTube art-off: which curator’s pick will win?

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Like this collage by artist Felipe Jesus Consalvos? The High doesn't own it, but it might, if a High curator makes a strong enough case for it -- to you.

Atlanta didn’t take so well to the idea of Ultimate Fighting in our high art spaces, but we’re so not above little curatorial rivalry.

Right now, seven of the High Museum of Art’s curators are trying to convince art lovers to buy a piece of artwork they want. Straight up, Pick me! Pick me! Not the other guy! Or…sure, pick us both. Yeah! That’s fine, too!

Not in some board room, not over e-mail. On YouTube.

I’m charmed by the idea of of dueling curators pleading their cases online like so many reality show contestants and memes of the past.

As High director of collections and exhibitions David Brenneman said in the AJC story, “Only YOU can help the High pick new art“: “We do this all the time anyway, we just simply don’t do it in competition with each other. Clearly we’re all scoping each other out, trying to figure out who’s got the coolest object, and what we have to say to make our object the most appealing.”

Let’s get the cameras. All they need are a few cocktails and a Tim Gunn.

Of course, these are purchases of $25,000 or more. Anybody can comment on the videos and publicly register their support for a piece of art, but it’ll cost you more to have real sway. Yes, the actual votes, not surprisingly, go to those with money. For $500, you can attend the Collectors Evening celebration this weekend and pick your favorite.

To be clear, I will not often suggest a $500 event in this blog. Even for a good cause, a great cause, that’s more a commitment than a fun night out.

But in this case:

You can just check out the videos.

You can head to Collectors Evening.

Or you can just see how it all turns out by visiting the museum and its collection — maybe even on one of the free admission days.

Want to go?

  • High Museum of Art Collectors Evening. 6:30 p.m. Jan. 30. $500. W Atlanta Midtown, 188 14th St., Atlanta. 404-733-4557, www.high.org/collectorsevening.
  • High Museum of Art. $18, $15 for people 65 and older and students, $11 for ages 6-17, free for members and children 5 and younger. High Museum of Art, 1280 Peachtree St., Atlanta. 404-733-4444, www.high.org.

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[...] there are 150 people who paid $500 each for Collectors Evening tickets, which gave them the privilege to pick the High Museum of Art’s next  purchases. But [...]