5 comments on “Location, Location, Location

  1. I’ve connected with work that was directly behind a coffee sipping laptop user. It wasn’t really that difficult. It happened at Jeanne Hospod’s show at the Green Muse. They give free coffee to the artist who is showing there for the whole time their artwork is up. Pretty cool, huh? I even sold pieces out of there to other brave coffee sipping laptop user impeded art-lookers. Nothing says connection quite like money. It’s actually easier to see past those motionless coffee sipping laptop users than the wildly animated booze drinkers at a dedicated gallery art opening.

  2. I too have a harder time connecting with art presented in coffee shops. It becomes decor, a background or secondary activity to enjoying a beverage. I also agree with what Salvador said in that, I don’t think that aspect of its display should prevent anyone from showing in such an establishment, but it is a totally different feel. When art is presented in a more formal setting, there’s no denying that’s what art goers are there to see. Another way of looking at this is Art as religion. Sure, you can worship where ever you are, but there’s something special and transcendental about doing it in a church, synagogue, mosque, etc…

  3. Think about all the great art in Europe that was shown in salons like Gertrude Stein’s. It was good enough for Picasso and Matisse to be shown in someone’s living room — I think we get too hung up on whether a place is chic and don’t focus enough on what might be there to be seen. As you said, sometimes the “real galleries” are light on excitement. I”ll say though, I’ve seen boring art both in coffee shops and in downtown galleries alike. And I’ve seen exciting things in a warehouse whose walls weren’t square or white. Boring or exciting can be found anywhere. JMO

  4. Ok, I’ll chime in but I’m pretty sick and it may make no sense.

    The type of space I like best according to your classifications…Venues Found in a Studio, ie: Big Medium and the like. I like that there is more freedom on how the work can be displayed and the artist can control the way the work is viewed and control the space as opposed to some of the other venues listed. Also, I like the ability to do site specific work and don’t see too much of that at the dual use venues. Of course the openess of a space to allow all this may be due to very cool people running the space more than the nature of the space itself.
    Another aspect I like about that type of space, but I guess some of the East Austin spaces in general, Big Medium, Ok Mountain, and Art Palace, etc. is that you can park reasonably close and mingle inside and outside, so you don’t have to be stuck behind people socializing, drinking, in front of the work all night. People cycle inside and out. This particularly works for me as I get a little clausterphopic and if I don’t get to a show early, I try to cycle in and out several times so I don’t get too uncomfortable.

  5. I’d go with a hybrid of a hybrid: Women & Their Work. Because it’s the working HQ of a non-profit art organization, there’s a creative spark in the air that kicks the sterile, office-y feel down a notch or two, and inhibits to some degree the see-and-be-seen atmosphere one so often experiences at the formal/cool galleries, so the openings feel more laid back. Yet the the gallery is a decent size, always scrupulously clean and bright, so there are fewer of the distractions you’d notice at a more “raw” space (i.e. weirdly shaped walls, dirt, gunk, funk). That being said, I’ve seen both weakly and well-presented shows there.

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