A few months ago I was having coffee with a woman I had recently met. It was our second date, and we were crushing over cool handbags and job envy. She was really interested in my gallery and the Crusade and my mission to get younger people with cool handbags and awesome jobs excited about art. She had just moved into a condo and had lots of white walls but not a lot of confidence about what she should put on them. The more we talked, the more she wanted to see art and get my opinion on her walls. For our third date we hung out at her place and thought about what should go on all of those bare walls. It may have been my best date ever – so fun. She also felt that a lot of her friends were in the same position, and that’s when the Art Circle idea was officially born.
Last week we met at the gallery with wine, chocolate-covered toffee popcorn (and some healthier snacks not nearly as exciting), and a group of her girlfriends. It was like book club, but without the homework. We talked about art, and specifically photography. I told them my story and how I started collecting art. I told them stories behind the photographs on the walls. We spoke about what we were drawn to, what we were unsure about, and asked questions about all kinds of things.
Next time they want to meet at my house to see my collection, how I’ve decided to hang the art, and to hear about the stories behind the images I love. Um, hello perfect night!
Once the Art Circle idea was formed, everyone I spoke to wanted to circle up their own friends for a go. The other night I had a more formal Art Circle at a collector’s house. He felt his friends would feel more comfortable doing the first one at his place, and although he wanted it to be laid-back and casual, when we were chatting on the phone about final details, he jumped at the chance to have me give my full-on Crusade talk, powerpoint and all.
So the vibe was different, but just as amazing. Everyone was so curious about the photographs and the artists behind them and the embarrassing missteps I took when I started collecting art. All of this time I have been saying that people would be interested in art and in becoming collectors if they had an introduction to it that was unintimidating, interesting and fun – and Art Circle seems to be proving my point.
Circle up people. It’s the best.
About Art Circle
Art Circle is an opportunity for a small group of friends to regularly get together and explore art. Learn what you like, why you like it, and how an engagement with art can make life more beautiful. Whether your last foray into the art world was finger-painting or you consider yourself a seasoned collector, Art Circle is night with friends, wine, and interesting conversation.
Looking for help creating your own innovative ideas to connect new audiences to your work? That's what Crusade for Art is all about. Read more here.