By now, you might be familiar with the “GRWM” or “Get Ready With Me” trend on social media that involves posting a video or a series of photos showing the process of getting ready for an event or activity. It allows you, the viewer, to be a voyeur and gain a little peak behind-the-scenes.

Here at The Sid, we thought it might be fun to do a GRWM blog post to show how the museum gets ready to open a new exhibition. Follow along as we show you the steps that led to the creation and reveal of our latest exhibition, Remington and Russell in Black and White!

Every exhibition starts with an idea. In this case, we noticed some Remington and Russell artworks in the collection that are done en grisaille, or black and white. Both artists would produce works in black and white with the intention for reproduction in books or magazines. Therefore, an exhibition focusing solely on Remington and Russell’s artworks en grisaille would provide an opportunity to dive deeper into each of their careers as illustrators.


painting of a pack of horses and mules going down hill in the rain

Charles Russell, Over the Next Ridge, Therefore, We Slipped and Slid, Thanking the God of Luck for Each Ten Feet Gained, 1905, Watercolor, Private Collection


Now that we have established the theme of the exhibit, it’s time to put together a checklist of which works the museum would like to include. In the case of this show, there is a mix of works from the collection and loans from other institutions or private collections. For works not already in The Sid’s collection, our director must reach out to each lender and submit a loan request.


A group of guys lifting a painting out of a wooden crate.

Unpacking loaned works from their crates


Once all the works have been selected and confirmed for loan, our director researches and writes text labels for each object. When writing labels, it’s important to find a good balance between providing relevant details while not overwhelming your reader with too much information.

After several rounds of edits, the final draft of each label is handed off to a translator. Spanish language versions of all the text in this exhibit are available via a QR code on every label.


exhibition labels spread across a table

Labels for new exhibition


During the process of deciding which works to include in the exhibit, our director also must think about how each artwork will be displayed, how they interact with the objects around them, and the overall cohesiveness of the exhibition visually. To help with this, the museum has mock-ups made of each of our galleries with the art objects printed to scale. This allows our director to imagine the overall layout.


Poster image of museum gallery layout

Gallery mockup for next exhibition planning


Now let’s prepare the galleries for installation! This requires deinstallation of our last show, which includes removing the artworks, patching the walls where any holes were made, and painstakingly scraping off any vinyl text. Then the walls are painted, and in the case of this exhibit, new carpet was laid down.


A man scraping off vinyl text from a wall.

Removing vinyl intro text from previous exhibition


A view of the museum gallery with walls patched or painted.

Repainting the walls for the new exhibition


Museum gallery walls painted dark brown and sage green.

Wall painting complete!


With new carpet and wall paint complete, the galleries are ready for installation. Let the hanging begin! A key detail in helping each painting look its best is lighting. Due to the sensitive nature of the materials, any works on paper are dimly lit, whereas oil on canvas can withstand larger volumes of light.


Paintings on the floor leaning against the wall.

Laying out the artworks


A man rubbing vinyl text onto wall.

Adding the vinyl introductory text



A couple of guys measuring how level the painting is hanging and drilling into wall.

Hanging artworks


A man on a ladder adjusting a light fixture while looking at a painting on the wall below.

Setting the lighting


With installation complete, then comes the fun part: inviting the public!! Remington and Russell in Black and White officially opened to the public on May 4, 2024 and will be on display through April 2025.


A view of a museum gallery.


A view of a museum gallery.


A view of a museum gallery.