Why you should attend local art shows
The beauty of attending a local art show whether it is in a gallery, multipurpose space, or at an outdoors festival is that art shows afford you the opportunity to observe art by local artists up close. If you go to the show opening night or attend a reception you may have the opportunity to meet the artist in person. That enables you to have discussions about the art, ask questions, and gain greater insight to why an artist creates what they create.
I will let you in on a secret. The lovely people who put an art show together, want you to come. They want you to come opening night. Don’t ever hesitate and think, maybe the gallery, museum, art association will think I am an uninvited guest. No! They would be happy to see you and consider their show or opening a success because you came.
Why I like to participate in local art shows.
Let me tell you my personal take on the local art scene. When I participate in and attend local shows, I also have the opportunity to see the work of my peers up close and in person. I have the privilege of introducing myself to fellow artists, collectors, and art lovers. When I participate, I become a part of a local community of artists and can network and learn from them.
I live in an area that encourages art and local artists. Over the years I have witnessed people creating opportunities outside of galleries and outdoor shows, alternative places where artists can display their work. In Dallas/Fort Worth art is exhibited in restaurants, hair salons, coffee shops, bookstores, movie lobbies, recreation centers, city buildings, and local businesses. The list goes on.
The momentum behind finding places for artists to exhibit often comes from Art Associations. Many associations start in a public place like a library or a rented room then grow and establish themselves in their own space which often includes a gallery. Business like to invite them in to display work in their buildings. Universities and collages lend gallery space to associations to promote local artists because art associations tend to be educational oriented.
If you want to know what is going on in the arts in your area, join an association, go to their shows, and visit their galleries.
Visual Artist League of Allen
I recently join an art association. It is the Visual Artist League of Allen Texas. Membership isn’t restricted to people who live in Allen, just anyone interested in art. I have been aware of this group for some time and have been looking for an event to join. That event was The VALA Collective Spring Show at the Blue House Too Gallery. I had three pieces accepted into the show and joined my son Sean and his girlfriend Casie one Saturday afternoon to view the work.
As you can see the gallery is a very nice space, in a very nice area. It is one of two galleries VALA exhibits in. The second gallery is at the Cotton Mill, a historic building in McKinney, Texas. An old cotton mill was converted to an event venue and VALA regularly exhibits work there.
What the VALA offers.
What VALA offers to a person who may not consider themselves an artist, but is interested in the arts, is way to connect to the arts community. This happens through workshops and membership meetings that encourage art appreciation. The gallery space can be rented out for events and classes.
VALA offers the artist and the aspiring artist opportunities to exhibit art through artist calls for show. An artist can also submit a proposal to show their work in the gallery. If their proposal is accepted their art is exhibited at the gallery for 4 to 6 weeks. Pop-up are another option, an artist can submit a proposal to show smaller items at the gallery. A Pop Up is a small show that lasts a shorter period of time, usually a day.
Workshops of all levels are offered so an artists can improve their skills and like the upcoming Resin workshop in June, learn a new medium. Not only can artist members attend workshops, they can submit a request to teach a workshop.
The VALA Mission Statement
The Visual Arts League of Allen was created to promote our vital and vibrant artistic community. VALA will serve as a conduit for creative synergy between our talented Local Artists, Local Business and Patrons of the Arts in order to energize and support the arts in our area.
Attend a local art show and be inspired!
If you are an artist or just interested in the arts, I encourage you to find your local art association. Explore what they do, where they meet and attend a meeting for two and visit a show. I know you will be enriched by the experience while meeting new people and discovering some wonderful and beautiful works of art.