On a beautiful hot Saturday July 18, we opened our doors to the public for a special Meet The Artist with Alysia Macaulay, an artist who is currently showing at our pop-up in Wellesley through July 25, 2020.
The event happened exactly one week after we held an online video based opening for the show. You can check out the recording of the online opening here. So having had both an online and then a physical event over the space of 7 days, its worth having a look at the similarities and differences and what it took to put these events together.
As we continue our journey through the pandemic, we have now conducted three online openings where we have had people visit from across the USA and around the world - with attendees from Europe and Asia/Pacific. In fact the online opening gave everybody an equal chance to talk to artists, see artworks and - yes - purchase the works independent of where they are and how they want to participate.
But of course, online is online - you are not in the location, you cannot directly engage with the art in the way people have become used to doing for thousands of years. So, online is amazing - its changing the world - its offering fairness and inclusiveness to everybody and it is leveling the playing fields for collectors and art lovers.
But as the economy reopens we wanted to share art with more people and to find a way to offer the physical to go along with the virtual.
Re-Opening has entered Phase three in Massachusetts and retail spaces made tremendous adjustments to comply with the state mandated rules and guidelines. And a gallery that wants to have the public visit, is a retail space as much as a boutique or other stores - so we quickly pivoted to cater to the safety of the public by ensuring we adhere to all public safety guidelines and social distancing rules. We stocked up on masks, gloves and hand sanitizers at the gallery, and we are mindful of the eight people capacity at our space and always keeping six feet apart from each other. We even put a fan in the gallery to help circulate air.
Although we are very much a fully online gallery, one of the most rewarding aspect of having our pop up location in the middle of a once busy down town, where many shops have shuttered, and locals crave vibrancy, is that we are able to fill a void. We offer art and respite, where one can just step into our austere space to enjoy the intriguing and thought provoking works of art, shedding their worries for even a slight moment to be with objects of beauty.
To ensure the success of the event, we have put a lot of thoughts into the mechanics of it from every point of view; the artist, the public and the gallery. We made it essential to sign up for one of four 15 minute slots available. We provided individual mini bottles of beverages and bags of snacks for attendees to minimize cross contamination and a personnel is stationed outside the door to ensure we are complying with the occupancy limit. And it was a great event with every session full and the gallery hitting its occupancy limit and with visitors having to wait outside for open slots. Having Alysia there to meet people and talk about her art was wonderful.
And so we could say that both events delivered great joy and information to all attendees in different ways, and we believe that those different ways are here to stay. We must continue to expose art to the world with fairness and openness to all - and we must continue to offer ways for people to engage with art and experience things in ways they feel comfortable with.
2020 may be the most unusual (aka terrible, scary, worrying) year in this 100 years, but its legacy will last for the next 100.