Art galleries are employing several platforms to engage audiences online, but are eager for the day when the province allows them to reopen.
Alix Voz, director, and curator of WKP Kennedy Gallery in North Bay, is showcasing the work of local artists using vidcasts on YouTube and podcasts on iTunes and Spotify.
“They’re like online interviews done through Zoom,” Voz explains. “The goal is to keep the artists on a platform, which is part of the gallery’s mandate, and also just getting that connection going with the community and sharing some moments of inspiration.”
She says about 100 people are watching the videos each week.
Voz also has a digital magazine called The Easel to showcase some of the pieces talked about on the podcast.
While Callander Bay Heritage Museum & Alex Dufresne Gallery also is temporarily closed, curator Natasha Wiatr says the facility is still accessible online.
A virtual tour was created last summer to make the heritage building more accessible for those who cannot access the second floor.
“We’re an old historic house and we have an upstairs with a bit of a narrow staircase. So it’s difficult for those who can’t climb stairs and we don’t have an elevator,” Wiatr explains. “Our plan is to have a computer set up in the museum when we reopen.”
Wiatr sees the virtual tour, which has had more than 21,000 visitors since being released March 29, as a way to preserve the items in the museum, as well as the building itself.
“You can at least see the art pieces in some way,” she says.
Wiatr also has created a slideshow of the gallery’s current exhibit.
Vox believes online presentations such as these shouldn’t stop after COVID-19.
“Everybody who has accessibility issues is now suddenly getting all this amazing content,” she says. “I don’t think that we can just drop it suddenly. I think that there’s going have to be a stronger digital component from all these art institutes.”
Kay Brownell, meanwhile, admits displaying artwork online from her Magnetawan gallery has been difficult.
“It’s been hard,” says Brownell of Windows to the North Gallery. “I am actually selling some things, but I have to learn how to do the online stuff.
“I don’t know what else to do,” says Brownell, admitting she has had to pick up a second job to help pay the bills.
In addition to herself and her partner, Brownell’s gallery is home to 40 artists. She admits she’s worried about losing her gallery and having to go online to sell her work while leaving the other artists on their own.
“I don’t know how else to help these other women. But I have to be able to pay my own bills first.”
Brownell says she’s adapted to the restrictions of social distancing by selling online and with a drive-thru gallery where she leaves pieces outside for customers to pick up. She says she’s even willing to display pieces outside for people to view if they are interested in buying.
But Brownell believes selling art online is not the same as selling in person.
“If I were going to buy art, I want to see it, touch it, feel it,” she explains. “But because of our reputation, people know our pieces are excellent. We only have top-of-the-line pieces in there, but only the people who have been into our gallery know that so they have to share with their friends.”
Nature Natives Art Gallery in South River, run by Christina Kearne and Joe Clayton, has been open for six years but also recently closed due to COVID-19.
Kearne says they haven’t been selling pieces during COVID-19 but have instead used the time to create more artwork for their gallery once it reopens.
“We hope to see people when everything opens back up again,” says Kearne. “We’re adding new pieces to our collections.”
She says Nature Natives doesn’t rely too much on an online presence, but has had people come in after seeing their work on Facebook.
“In the past few years, I’d say definitely so. All of a sudden they will come in and say, ‘Oh, I didn’t know you were here.’”
Vox believes many people are starting to tire of relying on their computer screen for entertainment.
“I think a lot of people are waiting to get back into museums and art galleries,” she says. “I do think the experience in person is completely different than something you get online. I know from speaking to some colleagues at other institutes that people are getting screen fatigue and they want real-life experiences.”
“At any point in time anybody can Google what the Mona Lisa looks like and yet how many thousands, hundreds of thousands of people visit the Mona Lisa each year in person. We all know what it looks like. There’s something different about seeing it in person, whether it’s historical, or whether it’s a piece of artwork that’s created in modern times.
“Despite all the digital mess of our world today, we’re still drawn to the physical.”
Mackenzie Casalino, Local Journalism Initiative, North Bay Nugget
The LJI is funded by the government of Canada
Kelowna Art Gallery offers free admission for June – Kelowna Capital News – Kelowna Capital News
You can now cruise the halls of Kelowna’s Art Gallery for free for the month of June.
On June 2, all four exhibition spaces reopened for visitors to enjoy. In celebration, the gallery decided to offer free administration to everyone this month.
“I am delighted that our professional team worked together to reopen the Kelowna Art Gallery to the public as quickly and as safely as possible,” said Nataley Nagy, executive director at the Gallery.
“During these trying times, we know that art and creativity are a welcome respite for all of our residents.”
Visitors will notice additional signage as well as reduced capacity due to COVID-19 concerns.
The Gallery has also made a few changes to its hours of operation. The Gallery is now open Tuesday and Thursdays, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Wednesday and Fridays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The first hour, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., has been set aside for seniors and for those who may have health concerns.
For more information about the exhibitions on view and to find out “what to know before your visit”, please see www.kelownaartgallery.com.
The Kelowna Art Gallery is located at 1315 Water Street in the heart of the Cultural District in downtown Kelowna, BC.
National drive-by art show rolls in Victoria on Saturday – Victoria News
A drive-by art exhibition, planned in select cities across the United States, Mexico and Canada, is happening in Victoria on Saturday.
On June 6, artists taking part in The National Arts Drive will be displaying, performing or showcasing their creativity from driveways, balconies, windows, stoops and front lawns during a three-hour period.
Spectators are encouraged to drive the city blocks to see, hear and support the artists, performers, musicians and designers who live in their communities.
The driving experience is paired with a website and an interactive map where spectators can engage with the artist and support them through three main avenues: like, follow and share their work through social media, donate directly to the artists and visit their online store or website for a future purchase.
There is no charge for artists wishing to participate in the event, which was created by RAW – the world’s largest independent arts organization.
According to RAW, 95 per cent of artists have lost income as a result of the COVID-19 shutdown and 64 per cent of artists have become unemployed due to the pandemic.
For more information visit nationalartsdrive.com.
Art market leaders host charity auction in support of Canadian food banks – Canada NewsWire
The charity auction will take place on Heffel’s Online Auction Partnerships (HO2) platform from June 9 – 23, 2020, and will include 28 works donated by Nicholas Metivier Gallery and a group of well-known artists including Edward Burtynsky, Bobbie Burgers, John Hartman and others. According to presale estimates for the works, the auction is expected to raise between $170,000 and $230,000 to benefit the charities.
“Like many Canadians, we are proud to step up to help those in need during this critical time,” said David Heffel, President of Heffel Fine Art Auction House. “We’re so thankful for the generosity of the Nicholas Metivier Gallery, the RBC Foundation and the artists who have donated their energy and creativity for this important cause, and are eager to get these much-needed funds to food banks in our communities.”
“Canadian food banks are in desperate need of assistance to help those most vulnerable as a result of COVID-19, and demand has grown exponentially in recent months,” said Nicholas Metivier, Founder and Owner of Nicholas Metivier Gallery. “When we suggested the idea of an auction to support food banks, our artists responded with tremendous generosity and enthusiasm. We are also pleased to partner with Heffel and utilize their online auction platform to execute this important initiative.”
To give interested buyers an opportunity to view the available works, the auction catalogue and virtual auction previews will be available on Heffel’s website. Works will also be available for preview by appointment at Nicholas Metivier Gallery (190 Richmond St E, Toronto, ON).
For additional auction details, and to access the online catalogue, please visit www.heffel.com. The catalogue will be available on June 9, 2020.
About Heffel Fine Art Auction House
Heffel has sold more Canadian art than any other auctioneer worldwide, with sales totaling more than half a billion dollars since 1978. With offices in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa and Calgary, Heffel has the most experienced team of fine art specialists in Canada and provides superior client service to both sellers and buyers internationally.
About Nicholas Metivier Gallery
The Nicholas Metivier Gallery, founded in 2004, is one of the largest contemporary galleries in Canada. The gallery represents and promotes Canadian and international artists that demonstrate exceptional quality and originality in all media, with a focus on contemporary painting and photography.
SOURCE Heffel Fine Art Auction House
For further information: For additional information, to schedule an interview or media viewing, or for high-resolution images, please contact: Rebecca Rykiss, Heffel Fine Art Auction House, [email protected], 416-961-6505 ext. 323
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