How to Make the Most Out of Your Visit to an Art Gallery
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Published by TOP4 Team
If strolling through all the shops at the mall, eating out, watching movies and having a drink or two at the pub are some of your favourite activities to do with friends or with your significant other, it may be a good idea to try something new. And it doesn't have to be an entirely new experience that requires a ton of effort, money and time to indulge in, either in fact, it can be one of the easiest, most interesting and low-cost (sometimes even cost-free) activities you can try.
Ever considered paying a visit to an art gallery? Here are some simple things to remember so that your trip to such an establishment will be as enjoyable and memorable as possible.
1. Don't be intimidated by the place. Most people are hesitant to walk into art galleries because they get the impression that you have to be a sophisticated (or even rich) individual with a thorough knowledge of art history to be deemed worthy of walking through such a place.
On the contrary, art galleries are places where artists display their work and invite people to take a look, discover pieces they may like, and perhaps even purchase one, if it moves them enough to do so. They are less formal settings compared to art museums, so you don't have to be dressed all fancy to visit one. It's best to come to a gallery with an open mind — you'll never know what you're going to find, so just take a chance and come on in.
2. You don't have to engage in a critical discussion of the work with other people. For some, this is what they wish to avoid the most when visiting art galleries: having a deep and lengthy conversation with a stranger or companion about the artwork. There's no rule that says you have to flaunt your knowledge (or lack thereof) of the artist, their style or technique, and their purposes or inspirations for creating the piece. You can simply walk around, take a look, find works that you like or admire, and talk about the pieces with friends if you want to.
3. Attend a gallery opening if you are able. It's a good idea to experience this once in a while. You never know if you're going to like somebody's collection of artworks or not, but if you look at the pieces and find that you have a question or two, the artist will be there in the gallery during the opening and you can talk.
4. See if there is a way to get a copy of the pieces that you like. You can ask the gallery staff if visitors are allowed to take photos of the pieces or not (many don't allow it because of copyright issues, while others may be all right with it). If photography is prohibited, ask if the artist or the gallery offers prints or postcards for sale, or if they have a catalogue.
5. Do some research on the art galleries and museums in your city so you can plan your visit. If you already have an idea of the kind of artworks that you would prefer to see (oil paintings, sculptures, or mixed media, for example, or artistic movements like realism, cubism, impressionism, modern, postmodern, etc.) and look up the specific places that offer these. In museums, you can get a brochure or map that details the different artworks you can find in different areas, so you can pick which areas to walk through and which to skip.