Too often many of us are intimidated by the idea of art. Whether it be touring an art gallery, buying a piece of fine art, or just knowing the basics for viewing art seems almost embarrassingly difficult.
“How do you know if modern art is upside down?” “Is it really worth that much?” “Does it match my style?” “I’m standing here looking at it and I don’t know what to do or say.” “Are there better art galleries than others?” “Where do I go?”
Between the New York Times article, How To Navigate Art Galleries In Any Cities and The Culture Trip’s Atlanta’s Ten Best Contemporary Art Galleries and 10 Must Have Apps for Art Lovers , many of those questions and more are answered.
How to Navigate Art Galleries in Any City
Whether you contemplating touring art galleries out of town or in Atlanta, art historian Natasha Schlesinger, creator of the ArtMuse Discover Galleries App that guides users through New York City’s galleries, offers up a few wise suggestions when you do decide to visit.
PICK RECENT SHOWS. Choose galleries or museums with the newest shows. Also, pick a diverse mix of galleries that appeal to you, are recommended, are in a variety of neighborhoods in the city, or are just conveniently located. Go to what seem interesting to you but also seems to be a recent addition to the gallery.
She even suggests to visit a gallery on the day a show opens because the artist whose works are on display is often on hand. “You’ll see the art but also get to meet the artist, which is always fun.”
RESEARCH FIRST. Before you arrive, do some quick research on the artist. Just google the name and take a few minutes to read a little bit about his or her. Just like with all artists, their history explains so much in their choices.
Also, take a screenshot or bookmark a news release and a checklist of the works. Most of these are available but if they aren’t, ask the front desk when you arrive. The news release will have a biography of the artist, and the list will have the relevant information about the works you’re seeing — art galleries usually have no labels for the pieces on display. If you have questions about the art, just ask. Believe it or not, most gallery employees love talking about art and want you to feel comfortable so that you will visit again.
HAVE A LIMIT. Consider what your eyes and wallet can handle and that fits your mindset. Some of us can handle a day of art, others can only handle a few hours and then get overwhelmed. “Even though many art galleries don’t exhibit more than a few dozen works at a time, the art you see will be a blur if you go to too many,” Ms. Schlesinger said.
Apps That Make The Process Easier
Along with Schlesinger’s ArtMuse Discover Galleries app that guides users more than 1,000 art galleries, there are many more that Culture Trip’s Bethany Stuart has discovered for us. Here are our favorites straight from her list.
Finestra Art App
If you’ve got a blank wall you’d like to fill with local artwork, then Finestra is the perfect app for you. Artists use the app to capture, manage and professionally promote their work in their local area. This way, users can find the art, scale it and see how it would look on a wall, all the while listening to the artist share the story behind it.
Artsy serves to deliver the ‘arts world in your pocket.’ The app impressively offers over 250,000 artworks, comprehensive coverage of exhibitions, shows and fairs—connecting you with international galleries so you can find, fall in love with, and purchase works straight from your phone.
Where to Go In Atlanta
Culture Trip’s Lauren England meticulously researched her top ten list in her “selection of contemporary art galleries and museums bring[ing] together established venues and artist-run ventures, distinguished by their commitment to the innovative and experimental.”
Here are our favorites straight from her list (and ones that happen to be close to Atlantic as well).
Captivating and emotive artworks are a guarantee at Pryor Fine Art. The gallery presents a unique collection of works that transcend their medium, transforming everyday objects and moments into tangible experiences. There is a strong focus on painting but it also features sculptural works. Works on show at Pryor Fine Art aim to create strong connections with the viewer, immersing them in the creative process. The gallery supports both established and emerging figures whose work illustrates an innovative approach to technique and content.
764 Miami Circle, NE, Suite 132. 404 352 8775.
The High is not only a leading south-east art museum, but also one of the most recognizable landmarks in Atlanta. Designed by Richard Meier and Renzo Piano, the museum itself is a work of art. It houses a permanent collection of over 13,000 artworks, including modern and contemporary art, and photography. The museum also prides itself on being the only major museum in North America to have a department dedicated specifically to exhibiting and collecting folk and self-taught art by southern artists. In addition to its exhibition program of significant national and international artists, The High Museum of Art holds regular events such as Friday Night Jazz, and Films at the High, ensuring a busy schedule of educational and entertaining activities.
1280 Peachtree St NE. 404 733 4400.
Mason Murer Fine Art
Spacious yet intimate art space Mason Murer Fine Art is a crown jewel in the Atlanta arts scene. Established in 2004, this well designed fine art gallery is the largest in Atlanta and boasts a truly unique offering of contemporary works by regional, national and international artists.. Mason Murer encourages the artistic development of up-and-coming talents through its annual Fresh Blood exhibition, featuring works across all media by recent graduates.
199 Armour Dr NE. 404 879 1500.
A driving force in the local community, Atlanta Contemporary is one of a kind. Founded in 1973, the non-profit, non-collecting institution is known for showcasing cutting-edge, controversial works of art by local and international emerging and established artists.
Atlanta Contemporary holds six to ten exhibitions per year alongside an extensive and diverse education program designed to enhance public experience of contemporary art. Shows often demonstrate a particular focus on artists who have not previously been shown in the southeast.
Atlanta Contemporary’s highly popular annual multi-media event, Art Party, is also not to be missed.
535 Means St NW. 404 688 1970.
Museum of Contemporary Art, Georgia
MOCA GA focuses on works by artists with strong links to the region. Since its opening in 2002, the museum has developed a strong reputation for the exhibition of contemporary art of the highest quality, establishing itself as one of the leading visual arts galleries
MOCA GA usually holds around ten dynamic and challenging temporary exhibitions per year by Georgia-based and international artists. Exhibitions feature a wide range of media including painting, print, sculpture, photography, and installation, while the ever-evolving permanent collection consists of over 800 works. The institution’s abundance of educational and community engagement programs also facilitates active interaction between artists and the public.
75 Bennett St NW. 404 367 8700.
While the views at Atlantic are indeed stunning works of art themselves, you now can get out there and consider starting your own art collection. We’ve given you some great tools and inspiration, it’s time for you to confidently begin your search!