artFido may exist online, but that doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate art offline as well. Many of the sellers on artFido are bricks and mortar galleries, who invest time and money in maintaining a place where we can all go and appreciate new, unique and collectable art pieces. So we thought we’d give them their dues and give gallery virgins and newbies some friendly advice and motivation.
So here are our top ten tips for visiting galleries and exhibitions for those of you thinking about venturing out:
1. Take a deep breath and step inside!
Setting foot in your fist gallery, exhibition or fair can be intimidating. But it really shouldn’t be. Despite the misconceptions, art is not just for the rich or privileged. It’s there for anyone and everyone. And trust us, those showing and selling art want you to step inside. Not to buy necessarily, but definitely to comment on and enjoy. So suck it up and head on in.
2. Party with the arty.
Openings and fairs are as much about partying and people watching, as they are about art. This is the moment for artists to shine, step back and feel really good about what they have done. So why not join them! Stroll around, have a drink, and remember, it’s a celebration for a huge job well done, so chill out, raise a glass and enjoy!
3. Look and listen.
Once you’re settled and have let your breath out, take some time to look, listen, discover, roam, read, scratch your head, scoff, be moved. But never, ever say “I could do that”.
4. Bring friends.
If you still can’t get up the courage to go it alone, bring friends. Have a good time and look, laugh, question, and take it all in together. Gallery hopping is also an excellent date night option. And if things aren’t going as well as you thought, or s/he doesn’t quite look like you remember them, you’ll always have something else to look at.
5. Go on…ask.
Confused? Tilted your head in every direction but still can’t work it out? Then ask the gallery owner. The days of snobby gallery owners are over and it’s a great way to get some inside information. It’s also a brilliant way to get an invite to their next party.
6. Talk it up…and down.
If you like it and your friends don’t, then you’re in for some heated discussion. Let the art spark your next great debate and let your friends convince you to buy, or not to buy. You may be surprised by how strongly you feel about something you just discovered.
7. Art is in the eye of the beholder.
Somethings you may very well be able to make or do yourself. But you didn’t. So don’t dwell on it. State your mind, tell you friends, but there’s no need to point, make fun, or generally be disrespectful. Just move on to the next piece. The one that makes you go “Wow, how did they do that”. It’s that piece that makes it all worthwhile.
8. It’ll work. If you want it bad enough.
Just a warning. Once you start looking, it’s inevitable that you’ll find something that you just love. That you can’t walk away from. And the reality is, it will cost more than you would expect. It takes time to make something beautiful or moving. And as the saying goes, time is money. If your love is sincere, any gallery owner worth their salt will work it out with you.
9. Listen to your heart.
Buy what you love. You don’t want to be one of those types collecting because you are supposed to, because it is the artist that everyone else wants, because you want to rattle off names. Buy what moves you or is going to keep you happy. Because the likelihood is, it will be with you for a long, long time.
10. Go get addicted.
Art is an obsession for lots of people. So beware, now that you’ve got our top ten tips for visiting galleries and exhibitions, you just might catch the bug.