Meet Eric Repice, Preparator at projects+gallery
Eric Repice came to projects+gallery a couple of years ago, working as an independent art handler and rotating among exhibits at various galleries and nonprofit museums.
What is your role at the commercial arts space projects+gallery?
My title is preparator. Art handler is the more-common term. I work almost exclusively in the gallery, although I do get involved in the Barrett Barrera Projects’ traveling exhibitions and other projects occasionally. As the “art-handling” title suggests, any time the art is moving in or out of the place, I’m the one overseeing that and physically moving the work around for exhibitions, installations and de-installations. I’m the one hanging all the art you see, with a guest curator or in-house curation on layout and figuring out all the nuts and bolts of getting the art in.
Because the gallery has an amazing inventory and Barrett Barrera Projects often lends its collection of fashion and contemporary art works, if it’s not an install or de-install period, I’ll be involved in overseeing the objects in storage and making sure that we’ve kept it safe.
Tell me about your typical day.
More often than not, a typical day would be working on a longer-term project. I continue to maintain the integrity of the collection using best practices for how to handle paintings, photographs and other objects like clothing. Lately I’m making sure they’re all stored correctly and in the database, even labeling all the works. We’re making it more like a library in the storage room, so we can get to the work easily.
How did your background prepare you for this work?
I’m an artist myself, a painter, and I did an MFA at Washington University for printmaking and drawing. Also I have a joint degree in anthropology as well, so I was teaching, doing the adjunct circuit at universities, and, increasingly, people were asking me to help out with exhibitions. I started getting involved in that as a painter—I had been involved in producing shows and hanging shows. I discovered that helping install work for an exhibition was something that I had a passion for. But I didn’t realize it could be a full-time thing. My interest in art and culture is definitely driving my work at the gallery.
What are you looking forward to as projects+gallery grows and evolves?
I’m really excited about the company increasingly starting to do traveling exhibitions that originate out of the gallery. I love seeing shows have a life beyond the original exhibition.