May 26, 2013

Cultural Tidbits

A tid bit is

1. a small piece of tasty food or
  1. A small and particularly interesting item of gossip or information.

Running an art gallery is a funny funny public exchange. I wish I wrote down every stupid thing that people have asked me over the years. Why do people insist on asking me "is this all your work"?
I mean first of all why would you assume that the girl behind the counter is the owner of the store.
But besides that, it's like, have you looked around? Do you really think my work could look like 12 different people at the same time? Yes, I work in 14 different mediums, sizes and genres. Some days I'm even much more talented than other days. I love landscapes and portraits but I also do abstract work, conceptual work, sculpture, collage, watercolor, etchings and paintings, and on the side I'm obsessed with lighthouses and old buildings.

That's just in the gallery. We also have a gift shop filled with retail merchandise from literally all over the world. They also ask me if "I do all this" too...

Here are some fun questions I've heard:
What is this place?
What do you do here?
So how does this place work?
Can you tell me if these are worth anything?
You're having a re-opening? A grand opening?
So you just sell prints here?
Do you do framing?

My all time favorite from my first gallery in 1999:
Does your father own the building?
I guess he was confused that a 25 yr. old girl wasn't home trying to have babies or something.

Boy, it's been a pip! It's sad that there are seemingly normal looking middle class people walking around this country who don't know what an art gallery is, an exhibition, an opening reception or an artist.

Here are a few tid bits: An artist does not do a little bit of everything under the sun and cannot draw you a picture of every possible thought in your head off the top of their head. An art gallery doesn't necessarily do framing or appraisals. A print is a copy, not an original. An opening reception often takes place at the start of a new exhibition, and an exhibition is when artists present their artwork to the public. We don't work for free and we don't all necessarily keep a collection of old nail clippings or shredded tissues under the bed, although some of us might! The original meaning of the word gallery is a room with a view where an audience sits at a performance. Examples would be the upper balcony of an opera house and an exhibition hall at a museum. We all know what a museum is right??

'A gallery which sells artwork is still a room with a view, since its selling activity is based on exhibitions rather than simple store display. Such galleries generally specialize in innovative works of art by contemporary artists, antiquities, or even wearable art. Galleries attract collectors who are interested in buying unique or unusual aesthetic objects, rather than buyers of mass-produced functional objects.' 

In this case, we do a little bit of both but more importantly maybe I should've mass produced that flyer when I opened my second art gallery..

Keep up the good work America.  Who needs cultural knowledge anyway.

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