'Like Sugar' Honored With AAMC Award for Excellence

Prize recognizes exhibition catalogue’s interdisciplinary examination of sugar through art, historical materials, biology, literature, and environmental studies

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY (May 10, 2022) — The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery’s exhibition catalogue Like Sugar was recently honored by the Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) with a 2022 Award for Excellence.

The award was one of ten bestowed at the AAMC’s annual conference earlier this month in New York City. Like Sugar won in the publication category for a museum with an operating budget of up to $10 million. The catalogue editors and lead curators of the exhibition, Sarah Goodwin, Professor of English Emerita, Skidmore College, and Rachel Seligman, Tang Assistant Director for Curatorial Affairs and Malloy Curator, were there to receive the award in person. Joining them was the catalogue designer Barbara Glauber of the New York City-based firm Heavy Meta.

“This is a wonderful national recognition for the interdisciplinary research and scholarship that are a hallmark of the work we do at the Tang Museum,” said Dayton Director Ian Berry. “Led by Sarah Goodwin of Skidmore’s English Department and Tang Malloy Curator Rachel Seligman, Like Sugar brought together their expertise with Skidmore faculty colleagues Associate Professor of Environmental Studies Nurcan Atalan-Helicke, Teaching Professor of Art Trish Lyell, and Associate Professor of Biology Monica Raveret Richter. Congratulations to them all, and thank you to AAMC.”

Like Sugar explores both the problematic and the joyful aspects of sugar, complicating our view of how this multi-layered substance affects us. With artwork by contemporary artists such as Vik Muniz, Julia Jacquette, Zineb Sedira, Laurie Simmons, Kara Walker, and others; historical materials such as maps, prints, and books; and material culture such as cane-cutting tools and sugar dishes, Like Sugar raises questions and encourages contemplation about the role of sugar in our lives. This book features essays and reflections by curators, artists, and scholars, along with extensive photography of the installation and the individual objects and artworks included in the exhibition.

The Like Sugar exhibition catalogue was previously honored in the 2020 American Institute of Graphic Arts 50 Books | 50 Covers design competition. The catalogue is part of the Tang’s robust publication program. Since opening the fall of 2000, the Museum has published 77 exhibition catalogues, which introduce artists and ideas to wider audiences and present new scholarship that assert a position for these artists in the broader culture.

This year’s AAMC awards paid tribute to the opening/closing/postponing of curatorial projects by awarding exhibitions and publications from 2020 and 2021, as well as 2021 groundbreaking digital curatorial achievements. Over 150 nominations were submitted and vetted by curator jurors from around the world, with importance placed upon how each entry reflected AAMC’s core values of inclusion, access, dialogue, and engagement.

The ten projects that were honored were:

  • Difference Machines: Technology and Identity in Contemporary Art at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery for exhibition (organizational operating budget up to $10 million)

  • Alien vs. Citizen at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago for exhibition (organizational operating budget of $10–$30 million)

  • The Dirty South: Contemporary Art, Material Culture, and the Sonic Impulse at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts for exhibition (organizational operating budget above $30 million)

  • Like Sugar at The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College for publication (organizational operating budget up to $10 million)

  • Mirror with a Memory: Photography, Surveillance, and Artificial Intelligence at the Carnegie Museum of Art for publication (organizational operating budget of $10 – $30 million)

  • Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America at The Museum of Modern Art for publication (organizational operating budget above $30 million)

  • Black Power in Print: The Black Panther Newspapers at MoMA at the Museum of Modern Art for non-catalog publication

  • Malangatana: Mozambique Modern at the Art Institute of Chicago for digital publication

  • Willi Smith: Street Couture Virtual Exhibition at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum for digital exhibition

  • The Black Index at the University of California, Irvine for online program

For more information about Tang publication, please visit the Tang website at https://tang.skidmore.edu/publications.

About AAMC & AAMC Foundation

Founded in 2001, the Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) & AAMC Foundation celebrate the curatorial narrative by supporting and promoting the work of art curators at all stages in their career through opportunities for networking, collaboration, professional development, and career advancement. With a network of over 1,500 members from over 500+ institutions around the globe, the organization is the leading organization and flagship voice for curators in the nonprofit sector. The organization ensures that the curatorial perspective on art, museums, and educational issues is furthered and advanced in critical issues within the art community.

About the Tang Teaching Museum

The Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College is a pioneer of interdisciplinary exploration and learning. A cultural anchor of New York’s Capital Region, the Tang’s approach has become a model for college and university art museums across the country—with exhibition programs that bring together visual and performing arts with interdisciplinary ideas from history, economics, biology, dance, and physics, to name just a few. The Tang has one of the most rigorous faculty-engagement initiatives in the nation, and a robust publication and touring exhibition program that extends the museum’s reach far beyond its walls. The Tang Teaching Museum’s award-winning building, designed by architect Antoine Predock, serves as a visual metaphor for the convergence of art and ideas. The Museum is open to the public on Thursday–Sunday from noon to 5 p.m., with extended hours until 9 pm on Thursdays. https://tang.skidmore.edu

Pattern by Fiona McLaughlin ’20
Inspired by the exhibition Opener 28 - Erika Verzutti: Mineral
The Tang Pattern Project celebrates the Museum’s 20th anniversary. Organized by Head of Design Jean Tschanz-Egger, past and current Tang Design Interns created patterns inspired by the Museum’s exhibition and event history.