Useful Tips When Visiting an Art Gallery
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Published by TOP4 Team
Visiting an art gallery can become a wonderful and exhilarating experience. However, some people hesitate to visit art gallery, mostly because of their lack of knowledge on the world of art. Therefore, we provide you with a friendly and useful guide of some tips for visiting an art gallery. These tips can be used by people of all ages, especially for anyone who is interested in attending an art gallery and wants to make the most of their visit.
1. Do Not Be Afraid
An art gallery is not meant to be an intimidating place. However, many people feel that way since it may seem threatening from the outside of the door. An art gallery is a sales venue, and they welcome browsers, buyers, artists and art lovers.
2. Start in the Center
When you first walk in, your first tendency may be to start at the right and view the artworks in a counterclockwise manner. The best way to view artwork in an art gallery, especially one that is not filled with other people, is to stand in the middle of the room.
From the middle of the room, look around at each wall, glimpsing each piece. Next, go to the one piece that caught your attention. Walk straight over to it, even if it is the last piece of artwork in the gallery.
After that, you can follow along a wall, or turn around and find the next piece that catches your eye. The point of this is to make art gallery visits interesting and fulfilling. There is no rule that says you have to look at 20 paintings of a barn before you look at the one that really interests you.
3. No Need to Talk
While you can feel free to discuss the art works you see with the gallery staff, or with a companion, it is not a must. Some people steer clear of art galleries because they think they will be quizzed on what they think of the work, or asked some complex art history or technique questions. It is simply not the case.
4. Attend the Opening
One of the best times to visit an art gallery is during the art show opening . Not only will you be treated to beverages and snacks there will be other people there. The artist or artists are also usually in attendance, and will welcome any questions you might have.
5. Ask Questions
If you do have a question about a piece of artwork in a gallery, do not hesitate to ask the staff. They will be more than willing to answer your questions. Not only is it part of their job, it is also more fun for them to talk to you than it is to just sit there.
6. Do Not Get Too Close
It is tempting to get close to art works sometimes in a gallery, which is less formal than a museum. Maintain a reasonable distance, and try not to point to closely to the artwork. If you get too close to the artwork, the staff will ask you step back.
7. Ask Before Photographing
In any gallery, the rules of photography differ. Many will not allow photography at all. There are different reasons for this including copyright issues and art preservation. If you would really like a copy of a work, and cannot afford the original, inquire if the artist has postcards, or makes prints, or if the gallery has a catalog. Usually the catalog is fee-based.
8. Sign the Guest Book
If you are interested in the type of artworks at the gallery, or the artist, sign the guest book on the way in or on the way out. You can include as much information as you want, and you do not have to leave a phone number. Usually you can just write down your name and address, or include an email address.
9. Determine Your Time and Passion
For example, all the works in the Philadelphia Art Museum can be casually and comfortably browsed in 2-3 hours. A local gallery store-front can be browsed in 5 or 10 minutes. Determine what primary art mediums you are interested in: Painting, sculpture, oils, watercolors, modern, realism, representational, classical, and so on. This will help you figure out which venues to visit. To figure out which mediums you have an interest in, browse through art history books, magazines, and find out which ones look aesthetically pleasing. You might also find which time periods and movements you fancy as well.
10. Be Adventurous
Most major cities have multiple venues for viewing art. If you live in a place like New York, try the Metropolitan Art Museum in NYC for your first visit. This museum has one of the greatest variety of styles and artists and cover a wide range of art history. You can find all the venues in the Yellow Pages or museum and gallery directory, if you can find one. The Internet is also a great resource. On your first visit, get a map of the museum collection (from the front desk - they always have one) and become familiar with where things are. Develop a plan of what order you will visit each gallery in the museum. Then finish off that floor and move up to the next floor, and so on.
11. Take Time
Take more time with the piece of art that especially interests you. In fact, if you find some art that particularly pleases you, you might want to spend 10 or 20 minutes with it to absorb all the meaning. See it from a distance and as close as the guards will allow. Take some time to answer these questions. See the brush strokes - how do they flow? Capture the overall design of the artwork. Does it seem to have sections? How about the colors? Are they spectacular or dull? If it is a portrait does it seem to send you a message? Sometimes in a painting a few red or orange specs of color make the painting very exciting. If it is a modern painting or sculpture can you tell the theme without looking at the nameplate? What shades of blue did the artist use? Some shades affect our circadian cycles and put us in a good frame of mind (perhaps to sleep).
12. Recap Your Visit
At the end of the tour, try and re-visualize what you saw. This will encourage your brain to remember.