Living in Toronto for the first time, yea, it’s definitely something new. Although the transit system is way better than back home in Ottawa, there are still some things you have to know. For instance, I had no idea when buying a student TTC (transit) pass, not only do I have to present my Student photo ID, but I also have to have a TTC photo ID, which evidently I did not have. This was gingerly pointed out to me by a somewhat nice streetcar driver on my way to school as he asked me to rummage through my bag in the midst of 50+ hustling people to show him my ID.
Getting on with it, after a long day of going to and from the subway station trying to get my ID (forgetting my student timetable the first time) I was excited to make my way west to a gallery that had a potential job opportunity. I had been emailing this lady for a while about a unique gallery affiliated with my school. After sending my resume in for a position as their blogger, or a gallery assistant, she invited me to an event. This was tonight. As an eager-to-learn first year art student, I was obviously perky and excited to go and introduce myself. I approached her with kind words and told her who I was. Not only was eye contact not made, but she didn’t take the time to take her hand off the wine bottle she was shuffling ever so slightly to the right to shake my hand. I don’t know why she seemed to be so concerned about the wine because there were approximately 5 people in the gallery, 4 of them being the featured artists. She was short and timid with her words, and didn’t have much to say other than the fact that she loved her space. As a newcomer to Toronto I would think that someone who has a young space as her own would be not only willing but excited to show people around and to get to know what she does. After about a whole 6 words were shared…I left.
Not only was it her, but the whole vibe of the place was quite pretentious as in the… I’m an upper year/graduate art student don’t look at me, kind of way. It was just because of the people. The art was nice, the layout was great, the location was perfect. And it even had kind of a warm homey feeling as a student gallery should have.
I don’t know what these people are trying to prove. I know art is about expressing yourself through your medium, but if your art is hanging on a wall exposed to the public, it doesn’t mean you have to literally hide behind it. Talk to people. Interact with people. People will like your art more if they like you as a person as well. If you own a gallery, make it exciting! I don’t understand why a gallery has to be so god damn intimidating when you walk in. For all the non-artists out there, I can see why walking into a private gallery is practically torture. The pasty white walls as soon as you walk in with beautifully hung paintings and polished wood floors, and then bam. Right smack in the middle of the gallery is a desk, with two highly professional (looking) artists or curators glaring right at you as you walk in. And WHY is it that you always have to approach them. Every. Single. Time. No, we don’t want the sale associate coming up to talk to us, but yes, we want the interesting artist that you are to come and talk to us. Share some interesting facts, talk about things. All in all just be a welcoming person. Or else I’m going to leave.
I just want to open my own gallery.