Do Some Research
The Internet is your best friend before going to an art gallery. You can find out quite a bit of information about the artist being featured. A great website for information about modern and contemporary artists is Wotartist.com. It is a quick way to discover something new about the artist you are going to see. Typing the artist’s name into Google is also a good idea; he or she may have a website about their work.
Read The Invitation
Where is the event? That is your first clue as to what you should wear. If it is at a museum or well-known venue, it is better to be more dressed up. The event might be held at a local, smaller gallery, which would typically be more relaxed.
Dressing The Part
After you have figured out how formal your event is, you must choose what to wear. The most important thing when choosing an outfit is comfort, I’m not talking about slippers and PJ’s comfort. You need to wear something that makes you feel fabulous. When you feel good, you look good, and everyone else will be able to see that.
Stick With Your Style
Art openings are overflowing with artists who typically have a well-defined sense of style. So if your wardrobe doesn’t have a flair for the dramatics, make sure you still look clean and smart. A well-dressed person doesn’t have to have the latest fashions or quirkiest wardrobe. Your outfit should reflect your personality. So if you don’t normally wear your bright purple pants, tonight might not be the night.
Manners, When Necessary
An art opening is definitely a party, but you don’t need to bring a host or hostess gift for this one. It is always polite to thank the event coordinator or artist for inviting you and definitely compliment the artist on their accomplishment – this is a good way to sneak in a compliment even if you aren’t a fan of their work.
Experience The Art
If you aren’t a frequent art gallery visitor, going to an art opening can be a little nerve-wracking. What are you supposed to be looking for in the pieces of work? It is important to remember to experience the art, not to just look at it. Art is supposed to make you feel something. Your first impression of a piece sets the mood for what you think about the art. Focus on the lines and colours and what they are trying to convey to the viewer. Then put it all together and figure out how the piece makes you feel.
And If You Don’t Like It…
So you’ve been staring at the piece for the past five minutes, you still don’t get it and you don’t like it. That is okay. A work of art doesn’t have the same effect on everyone who views it. Try to be polite by finding something about the art you enjoy, like a certain color or brush stroke. You have to remember that the artist may not be a visionary, but they are putting their work up for criticism. The real critics may be a lot harsher than you.
Have Some Respect
I know this may be a moot point, but I still think it is worth mentioning. Art exhibits and openings are classy events, no matter what the attire is, therefore you should consider yourself lucky to attend one. Be respectful of the artist, even if it’s terrible, and especially of the other gallery-goers. Don’t speak too loudly and save any negative comments for the drive home.
Art is exciting, and you should feel so too. Even if you don’t know everything in the world about modern art, it is always better to have fun than sulk in the corner, because you don’t know what you’re talking about. Be prepared, but there will always be some things you aren’t familiar with or don’t know. It is okay to ask other people about the art. Remember, it doesn’t reflect poorly on you, it shows a willingness to learn.
The Biggest Compliment
If you do like the work being shown and it is not too pricy (or maybe you can afford the pricier items), the biggest compliment you can give the artist is to purchase one of their pieces. That is one of the reasons they are showing the collection. Artists need to make a living just like everyone else, and then you can have a one-of-a-kind piece for your living room.