Virtual Art Galleries, Walks, and Talks
Like professionals in many industries this year, artists have struggled without exhibitions, shows, gatherings, and markets to get their work into the public eye. Canceled shows have produced months of fruitless labor, and careers are all but stagnant. Artists and galleries turn to virtual art tours and talks to continue to offer showings and make an income during these strange times.
We’ve collected resources on ways to enjoy art shows from the comfort of your own home and support artists. We talk a lot about First Fridays here. If you aren’t familiar with the term, “First Fridays” refers to the first Friday of the month, an informally-recognized event in which art spaces stay open late for public crawls in cities across America. First Fridays are the classic day to hold art-related events, and now you can have First Fridays in the comfort of your own home.
ART.V at ADX Portland
ADX Portland is a maker space in Portland, Oregon — a fundamentally artsy city. ADX organizers worked with artists from the surrounding area and utilized their in-house gallery space to bring ART.V to life.
ART.V is an art show that has featured a wide array of events, including virtual galleries, musicians, and politicians. What started as a weekly show on Instagram Live back in March now happens every First Friday. One-hundred percent of all sales go directly back to the artists.
To tune in, head on over to the @ADXPortland Instagram page on the first Friday of each month and check out their live event. You can also view previous shows on their IGTV page.
Virtual Friday Art Walk
The Friday Art Walk is a group of art galleries and businesses in Alameda, California, in the Jingletown Arts District. The galleries have adjusted to a virtual setting and are now hosting virtual second Friday art talks.
You can view the previous month’s virtual shows using the Friday Art Walk website.
Museum of Fine Arts Houston, #MFAHatHome
The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston is bringing nearly its entire 300,000 square feet to your computer screen via #MFAatHome. You can peruse their site for a museum tour at your own pace. From the site, you can view works from all of their collections, listen and watch artists and curatorial staff speak about the works on your screen and even take 3D tours of specific galleries.
As a kid, I loved visiting the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and even worked on an exhibit in 2018. I now live across the country from my home base of Houston; touring their site brought all my favorite works and spaces across the miles to my computer screen.
Grab a glass of wine or a warm cup of tea and spend your afternoon enjoying virtual art with a loved one.
Museum of Modern Art, Virtual Views
The Museum of Modern Art is also bringing many of its current exhibits to the safety of your home via Virtual Views. While not all displays are online, a plethora of virtual exhibits are available to explore. If you keep tabs on the events page, you can watch for a chance to catch an online lecture or presentation. There are even a few fine art video collections.
Got any other friends who love modern art? Set up a time to video chat and talk through your thoughts on the various pieces!
Local Window Displays
Galleries that can’t be open at the moment may have window displays instead. Head out on a walkabout around your neighborhood and see what you might find!
In Portland and other cities, artists have taken to the streets and painted boarded-up windows, and more cities are hiring artists to paint lasting murals for their respective communities. Your search for a local window display could open your eyes to art in all kinds of new places.
Your Local Gallery
Your local art galleries likely have virtual options of which you may be unaware. Check their social media pages or websites to see how they are using new platforms to get art in front of new eyes and support artists. Lots of galleries have started offering virtual shows, artist talks, and more.
Not sure which galleries are near you? A quick Google search can help.
How to Support Artists Amidst a Pandemic
Many artists have lost income from the lack of shows and markets this year and turn to social media and their websites to sell straight to consumers. Directly supporting local artists helps them pay their rent and support their families. Consider the following and supporting your favorite artists via their social media channels.
Unable to support financially? Engage with their content, share it with those you love, and help them reach new audiences. It matters!
We hope this list inspires you to explore the world of art from the comfort of your couch or put on some shoes for a walking tour of your neighborhood. Don’t forget that your local galleries and artists could use your support and are likely to offer virtual options.
If you live in a part of the country where galleries are open in a traditional capacity and choose to visit, be sure to follow their operating guidelines and, of course, enjoy all the art!