Making Art Work: Community at a Distance (Part Three)
As the world is handling and adjusting to the challenges created by the pandemic, we thought it might be helpful to show how creatives are adapting to the new frontier of modern social distancing. Many artists and institutions have been doing great things, and we hope to highlight them through our “Community at a Distance” article series!
Over the course of 2020, many of the traditional methods of art appreciation have paused. The now-common “Arts Night Out” events that help build community and creativity during the warmer months are not happening out of safety concerns, with uncertainty as to when they will continue.
However, that has not impeded creative people from discovering innovative solutions during this time of difficulty. Many art galleries have been turning to their online presence to facilitate public events to connect and serve their community safely. Here are a few ideas that Galleries have been utilizing to help replicate their business ideas that can be done by anyone with social media:
Live Streaming Gallery Walkthroughs/Events on Social Media:
For events that are happening at their gallery space, it can be customary to have an “Opening” and “Closing” event that takes place at a gallery itself. However, these events are quickly being replaced by “Opening Livestreams” or “Online Gallery Walks,” where the gallery curator will go online and Livestream a museum-style walkthrough of the show. Livestreaming can offer all patrons and clients a way to view the work on display without having to visit the gallery in person. With most online options, the gallerist can talk about and discuss the artwork with viewers.
While this may not be a perfect substitute for the real thing, it is a very close second while keeping everyone safe. It also allows for people to “visit” the gallery any time they like!
Zoom/Video Meeting Show Openings:
For those with communication technology at your fingertips, Video Conferencing can be incorporated into your art events, supplementing the social aspects of a gallery opening without the stress involved. With meeting apps able to host dozens of participants, a gallery owner can create a private event and use it to unveil a new gallery show, complete with activities, a walk through and all the activities associated with a typical gallery opening.
Artist Takeover Events:
When a gallery show launches, the Gallery Staff will let one of the featured artists of that show “Take Over” their social media handles for a day/weekend. It can include Q&A’s, process videos, how-to’s, and offer general “Get to know you” experiences that you would have at a gallery opening.
Facilitate completely online-focused Gallery Shows:
Investing more into the Gallery Show presentation from a digital standpoint has been a significant point of focus for many organizations. Whether it is ramping up Social Media (Instagram, Facebook, etc.) presence to help promote artwork or investing in exclusive online content (via website, livestreaming, online events, etc.). Galleries are creating opportunities that are more inclusive and expansive than ever before, which can be just as helpful for artists.
Some galleries have been able to do solely online gallery events with international artists through digital art calls and using their Instagram account to showcase them. If you are an artist or gallery owner, be sure to search the “Call for art” hashtags on your social media handles to see what other galleries are doing to help supplement their events in this time of limited traffic.
Is your local or favorite gallery doing any of these things? Check in on their social media handles and see what they are up to! Hopefully, this is helpful to you, and be sure to let us know if we forgot anything in the comments!