Art Galleries I’ve Visited this Summer

Whenever I travel, I make every effort to visit all the art galleries a city has to offer. Here is a quick review of the spaces I’ve visited so far this summer.

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ABOVE: Josiah McElheny, Endlessly Repeating Twentieth Century Modernism, 2007, hand-blown mirrored glass, low iron and transparent mirror, metal, wood, electric lighting, 94.5 x 92.2 x 92.2 inches (as seen at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

BELOW: The courtyard at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Confederation Centre of the Arts, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

After spending countless hours in larger galleries, it’s nice to enter a small space, look at some cool art, then go on with your day. This place, although small, contains a tightly curated collection of Canadian art (no big names, but lot’s of good stuff ) and is located right in the heart of the city. If you’re ever in Charlottetown, and have less than an hour to kill, I highly suggest you go.

Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Although not as small as the Confederation Centre of the Arts, this centrally located art gallery is also easy to see in a short period of time. It has a great selection of Canadian art in it’s permanent collection, and the space for a few temporary exhibitions as well. There aren’t a lot of big name artists on display, but, as is often the case, that’s actually a good thing.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts

This space is huge and it’s collection is expansive. Be prepared to spend the better part of a day roaming its many galleries. Whether it be contemporary art, or the work of the ancients, this museum has something for everyone. Some big name artists as well.

Isabella Stewart Gardiner Museum, Boston, Massachusetts

One of the coolest galleries you’ll ever visit. The museums courtyard (pictured above) is absolutely stunning, but the rest of the building is creepy as shit. Believe me, you’ll feel like you just stepped onto the set of a horror movie when you enter this place (in a good way though). The art could be better labelled, but it is exceptional, and the non-traditional way in which it is presented is a big part of the experience. Like the MFA above, there are some big name artists here. Unlike the MFA, it’s easy to navigate.

Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Massachusetts

I love contemporary art, so I was super excited to visit the ICA. I’m really glad I did because the art in it’s temporary and permanent galleries is awesome. Many of the institutes recent acquisitions are by female artists, or artists of colour.

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Things I’ve Learned

By no means do I have all the answers, or even my fair share of them. That said, here are a few things I’ve figured out since I began taking the production and marketing of my art seriously.

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ON MONEY

You may have to pay to show your work.

You may have to pay someone to sell it.

Even though most artists don’t make much money, there are people who make money off of artists.

ON VALIDATION

Rejection letters come with the territory. Try not to take it personally, because it really isn’t.

It’s okay to never win an award or grant.

It’s okay to sell very little, or nothing at all.

Don’t be jealous of others success. Be happy for them, and focus on your own work.

ON CRITICISM

Be open to it.

People will offer it whether you ask for it or not.

Don’t take offense. Think about it, then decide if you’d like to implement it or not.

You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do.

ON BEING GENUINE

Your art should be a reflection of you and your personality, not a current trend.

People who know you should be able to see ‘you’ in your work.

Make the work you want to make even if it means you’ll never be represented by a gallery, or able to make a living off of it.

You can’t control how your work will be received, so stay true to yourself, and let the chips fall where they may.