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5 Common Myths & Misconceptions about visiting an Art Gallery for an Art Reception

Updated: Oct 24, 2022

Not sure what an art reception is, what you do there, or if it's for you? No worries, learn the 5 truths about what to expect when you come to CURIO for our monthly art receptions!

While scrolling through social media one day, you see that a local art gallery is having an Art Reception on Saturday evening. Huh, you may think to yourself. An art reception, what the heck does that mean!? As you ponder those words you may even think to yourself...Hmmm...self...I think I may want to go to this, but I have so many questions like...What even IS an art reception!? Is it invite only? Is there a dress code? Do I need to know a lot about art? Are art galleries and receptions only for people with a lot of money? Do I have to buy a piece of art if I go? What if I get there and I don't like the art? Do I bring a friend, partner, family member, kids, or...dear I go ALONE!? Before you know it, you have so many unanswered questions that you choose to stay home and wait for people to post pictures online. Maybe seeing it in action will help you decide if you want to go next time they offer this "Art Reception Thingy." Well, fear not!! Art galleries and receptions can be cool, relaxing, fun, and friendly. As the owner of a gallery, an art teacher, an artist, a mom, a community member, and surprisingly introvert, I am going to bring you the truth and bust these myths and misconceptions about art receptions. The information being given specifically applies to CURIO, a unique art space located on Main Street of Zelienople, PA owned by myself and husband. However, upon viewing many galleries around the world, most of these tips and busted myths will ring true in most of the places you would be inclined to visit. Now, let's get you excited for a fun evening out instead of scaring you back into your P.J.'s and onto the couch binging Netflix.

Go from knowing nothing about art receptions to becoming a pro by reading this list of misconceptions. Take the lies you think you know and learn the truth. It's seriously not scary.

Myth #1 - You have to know A LOT about art

Relax, you don't have to know ANYTHING! No one is going to go up to you and ask you long winded, wordy, art questions you don't know the answer to and make you want to shrivel up and disappear. Art receptions are a chance for the artist and the gallery to bring art to the community and the people in it! It's a FREE opportunity so come in, check out the art and learn!

Myth #2 - You can only go if you're buying art

Nope. Not at all. Viewers are welcome! As said up above its a chance for everyone to see the art and to learn about it. It can actually be considered family friendly too! Would I bring my kids...No, not unless our babysitter cancelled. To be honest. I love exposing my kids to art and I love to hear how they talk about what they see, but this lady needs a date night once and a while. We normally use an art reception as a chance for my husband and I to go out to dinner and then, instead of going to a bar to talk, we love to walk around and view the art while we enjoy a drink. Did you know, most art receptions offer an alcoholic beverage like wine or beer throughout the evening. Actually, it's better than going to a bar! The drink is free, there is cool stuff to see, room to walk around, and normally cool music and energy too! Of course galleries make their income on selling art but there is no judgement or hard feelings if you come in to just view the art with a friend or family member and have a beverage while you are looking.

"Art is too important not to share." – Romero Britto

Myth #3 - You have to dress up and be fancy

No need for pinkies up! I mean, if you're smelly, a shower and changing out of your relaxing sweats would be nice, but fancy is extreme! Personally, I wear jeans and a nicer shirt or maybe a relaxed dress in the summer, but I am the owner and that is a big deal for me! Actually since I never normally dress up and I am presenting our space and the artist to the public that evening I go a little outside of my comfort zone. Come as you are in your everyday clothing. My everyday would clothing would look like favorite jean and a plain t-shirt or sweater with a sandal or simple shoe. Even though I am an artist my favorite colors to wear are grey or black with the occasional white shirt or... wait for it... dark blue. whoa! There is quite an array of people. Some are dressed nicer, and some relaxed. So don't stress on what to wear and just be comfortable.

Myth #4 - You have to like the art you are viewing

It's ok to not like the art. It's ok to be confused by it. It's ok to think it is expensive. It's ok to find it weird. It's ok if it's not your thing. It's ok to think your 3 year old could make better art (they can't and there are reasons why, but that is a separate blog for another time.) It's ok to feel however you want to feel about it! You are allowed to have YOUR opinion. The COOL thing about the art reception night is that the artist is normally THERE and it's a great chance to learn about the art and their artistic process. Some artists have deep meanings as to why they do what they do. No worries, you don't have to talk to the artist at all if you don't want to, but if you do, go for it! Again, it's ok to not like the art. What's NOT ok is to tell everyone you don't like the art because in your opinion they didn't do it"Right." Keep that to yourself and the car ride home. Believe me, I have been to MANY art receptions with BIG TIME artists, and sometimes there are things I don't like and that's OK. I mean, duh...that is why so many different kind's of art exist. It's because we are all different in what we like. I have also experienced going to an art reception thinking I would hate the work because I didn't like the promo picture for the show and once got there, learned more about it, and met the artist and heard their story...I stinking fell in love with it! Would you believe that!? Jokes on me!

Myth #5 - Art Receptions are for the "Elite"

*Insert hysterical and snorting laughter* The Elite...What does that even mean!? Just because someone has their artwork in a gallery does not mean they are famous. It CAN mean that for sure. As a matter of fact some of our current artists having their art shows with CURIO in small town USA have shown in Madrid, Budapest, California, Florida, and sell work for thousands of dollars! Are they elite, snobby, and act like they are better than everyone else...HECK NO! My husband and I own the gallery and some of their art. Are we "Elite?" Hardly! We are normal people doing what we love and getting pretty darn good at it! But we are approachable, easy go lucky, community loving, art nerds. Sure, there are some people, galleries, and artists that have an elitist mentality. You will have that in every aspect of life, people thinking they are better than others, but art and art viewing should be approachable and exciting.

"Art is for everyone" - Keith Haring

Have you heard this statement before? Artist Keith Haring spent his life proving that art was for all age groups, races & classes. His words and passion about making art accessible for all could not be more passionate and true! Guess are an "everyone," so art galleries, art viewing, art buying, it's for you too! So COME to the next art reception at CURIO! Bring who you want, wear what you want, think what you want, all while you stand in that gallery looking at the art and tossing back an adult beverage. Don't be shy. We are super nice and actually have a super cool space where we have handmade items by local artists and a few different rooms so you can find your comfy corner if you need it and find your inner peace.

Joins us for our next art reception with Local Artist and Professor Patrick Schmidt. He is an amazing guy, creating seriously incredible artwork, and its currently in our fun and exciting art space called CURIO. Come and see it...Now that you are an art reception pro. Cheers!

To learn more about this artist & our art receptions at CURIO check out this recent podcast with Patrick!

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