If you missed the last few of blogs, this week’s theme is 4 Steps to Renew Your Interest in Art. Step 1 was to Make Your Art a Priority. Step 2 was to Invest in a Few Art Supplies. Today we move to Step 3, Explore Art.
If exploring art sounds like a big step, it can be depending on how big your interest in art is. If you have any education or background in art, you already know just how much territory art covers—from cave drawings to computer generated (CG) animation and everything and everybody in between. So, to put some parameters around such a broad topic, we’ll confine Step 3 to three types of exploration: local art venues, local art supply vendors, art online.
Each one of these can give you some idea of what you like and the type of art you want to do. Taken together they will provide a good foundation for renewing your art journey. Today’s blog covers local art venues.
Exploring Local Art Venues
What am I talking about? By local art venues, I’m referring to art museums, art galleries, and art festivals/ fairs/markets/auctions and shows. These are the ones that are either in your area or that periodically come to your area. This blog will cover art museums, and next blog we’ll talk art galleries and art festivals et al.
I think visiting art museums is the best way to broaden your knowledge of the different types, genres, forms, whatever you want to call it, of art that there is. You can choose to explore a particular period of art, or a particular genre, or a particular artist. You can choose what you like and tailor your viewings to it.
Depending on the size of your hometown, you have a range of venues from which to choose. If you happen to live in New York or Paris, you probably have the largest and best selection of art museums and galleries on the planet. New York and Paris are obviously world-renowned centers of art, and if you reside in either, you should take advantage of it. Capital cities are also centers of art for their respective countries. In Washington, D.C., it seems as if there’s an art museum on every corner.
Other cities around the world also have great art museums, and you should visit every single one in your area. These almost always have a permanent collection as well as hosting touring or one-of-a-kind exhibits. They are usually curated, which means someone (the curator) has designed or at least thought about what to exhibit and how it will look “hanging” in the museum.
If you are in a medium to large metro area, you probably have more than one type of art museum available to you. There’s usually the big, well known ‘public’ one named something like So-and-So Fine Art Museum or Art Museum of Such-and-Such. For example, in Los Angeles, there’s the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). In Houston, there’s Museum of Fine Arts-Houston (MFAH). Since they seem to be equally known by their acronym, you may need to double check which museum it is.
In many cities, there may be one or more ‘private’ art museums that are named after the benefactor who so graciously is letting you view their collection. Often as not, these are as well known as the ‘public’ venues. Think Guggenheim in New York, the Getty in Los Angeles, and the Menil in Houston.
But don’t overlook other venues that don’t get as much publicity. There may be a contemporary arts museum. There may be a museum that caters to a particular genre, such as Western art. There may be a museum that exhibits art of a particular ethnicity. All usually exhibit fine collections, and many are noteworthy.
The point is, depending on your locale, you may have access to many more art museums than you’re aware of. I repeat, you should visit every single one of them. So, visit a museum; visit all of them.
In the Studio
I began painting my acrylic this afternoon back in the “studio,” such as it is. I found a good subject that I think will make a nice painting. It’s a desert view. It’s got several types of cactus that I’m looking forward to working on. I’ll keep you posted.
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