The Show Must Go On
Many galleries and public art spaces around Clark County change their exhibits every month, usually around First Friday Art Walk events. Often work on a show begins many months before it goes up with promotion and community outreach. Planning meetings and many emails happen just before a show is hung. Organizing events is something galleries just do, despite hours of work, expenses, and unexpected plot twists with installations.
Sometimes a gallery schedule can feel like managed chaos, but the results never disappoint. The reward comes when guests arrive by the hundreds to a show and receive it with enthusiasm. It’s also rewarding to see work sell for the artists. Being an artist myself, I can tell you, it’s a sublime feeling when someone besides your mother wants to hang your art in her house.
First Fridays in the Vancouver Arts District have been reliably successful for many years. At the gallery I work at, we expect between 300-500 guests to arrive between 5-9pm on a First Friday, though sometimes the number is as high as 700, or if the weather is terrible, as low as 200. Still, can you imagine many other events in Clark County that draw that kind of crowd? Not many.
Rain or shine, winter or spring, gallery staff and volunteers bring the energy for fresh exhibits. Art fans from around Clark County drive in, find parking, and spend their precious time at the galleries. People meet, chat, laugh and strengthen relationships. This is what I call community building, and it’s the reason the show must go on for our arts organizations.