Gallery Hopping

Amy Guidry's work in the No Dead Artists exhibit at Jonathan Ferrara Gallery
Amy Guidry's work in the No Dead Artists exhibit at Jonathan Ferrara Gallery

I came across an article the other day in the October 2009 issue of Allure magazine that I wanted to share. Their “Insider’s Guide” series usually takes on interesting topics with a sort of “how-to” approach. I found this one particularly interesting since it deals with art. Rory Evans wrote the piece “How to Visit an Art Gallery” which can be found online at Silly as it may seem, there are many people that have never even set foot in a gallery before and honestly are intimidated. You don’t need to wax poetic about art or philosophy in order to attend an opening or visit a gallery on your own time. Just as anyone can appreciate music or film, the same goes for the visual arts. I can’t play an instrument, but I like Mozart. There’s no harm in that.

So here are some basics. First, galleries are free to visit. You are under no obligation to buy anything and you don’t have to pay to enter. (Museums usually have an admission cost or a suggested admission cost, but it won’t break the bank.) Galleries are generally open Tuesday through Saturday. Openings are generally held on weekends, usually the first or second weekend (be it a Friday or Saturday) of the month. Openings are held in the evenings in most cases, and are late hours with a high attendance. During the week it will be quieter, so you will have more opportunities to focus on the art and even stand back and view the work as a whole.

Galleries and museums both offer work for sale, but not all work is for sale in a museum. So if you are looking to buy, you have more options with galleries. They also change their shows on a monthly basis (for the most part), so there is always something new to see. Galleries will also introduce you to more “new” artists that may not have had as much exposure yet, whereas museums usually grant shows to more established artists.

Understanding the art does not require the Rosetta Stone. For starters, there’s usually an artist statement posted in the gallery whenever there is a show. The artist statement is written by the artist and is their personal account for their work. This will give you a good general idea about the roomful of work you see. It goes without saying, but also take into consideration the name of the show and the titles for the individual artworks. Many artists will admit that there are multiple interpretations of their work and that’s perfectly normal. You may see something different than the artist, or maybe you can add to what the artist feels. There’s no right or wrong answer. No one can tell you how to feel or what to feel, that’s your interpretation to make. All the artist can do is provide you with the information. And even if you do not have the opportunity to meet with the artist personally, you can always ask someone that works for the gallery. As for this artist, I am always open to questions, so feel free to contact me at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.