Assemble is an art gallery where people learn. The art on our walls connects local artists with the community, and informs the learning that happens in the space. That's been part of our DNA since the beginning, it's built right in. And galleries don't just put art up on the walls: they also open up their doors and invite the public in to check it out. That's where gallery shows come in.
Gallery shows are the debut event for art installations in our space. We hold them each month during the First Friday art crawl in our neighborhood, when dozens of galleries and other spaces open their doors, and hundreds of folks from near and far walk up and down the street to pop in and take in some local art and culture.
You probably won't be surprised to learn that Assemble gallery shows aren't like normal gallery shows. There's still lots of art, and wine and cheese (OK, maybe sometimes it's beer instead of wine). But there's also lots of opportunity for visitors to get their hands dirty, interact with the art and each other, flex their creative muscles, and have fun!
<aside> 🚀 The gallery show is just the debut! Each installation remains in the space all month. The art informs the themes we explore that month, and artists return to Assemble over the course of the month as Guest Experts, sharing their interests, explorations, skills, and insights with the kids during regular programming.
The artist being featured at each gallery show hosts a hands-on, interactive activity related to the installation that guests can try out for themselves. The activity helps to open up the artist's creative process, and break down the barriers between people and art.
Being a gallery takes work, and it might be an unexpected move for a learning space. Why bother? Here's why:
You'll make sooo many connections.
You'll be exposing your entire community to new local artists, art mediums, thoughts, ideas, and aesthetics. You'll unlock endless opportunities to integrate the art and artists into all the learning that happens in your space.
You'll be giving artists important space.
Artists need spaces in which to display their work. This is especially true for those who aren't well-connected or already known. You can provide an excellent gallery space where artists can have solo shows. This will support local art and local artists.
Your space will become a teacher in itself.
When an artist hangs their art on your walls, you turn a blank slate into a conversation. Not only will it keep your space fresh, it will also keep your students curious, your community engaged, and everybody who walks in inspired.
Oh, and if all that is not enough, you'll also be broadening your reach with the general public! Our gallery shows are often the first interaction that new community members have with Assemble.
Every first Friday night of the month (during Unblurred, our neighborhood's monthly art crawl), then the installation stays in our space for the rest of the month!
We usually see 200-300 people over the course of the night
Gallery shows are for EVERYONE: young people who live down the block, folks visiting your town or city, big people, little people, medium people, art snobs, art newbies, people who don't care about art but came for the cheese, and you!
Drop in, show up, stay for 5 minutes or 50; adult beverages free with suggested donation!
<aside> 🎨 What kind of artists have gallery show at Assemble?
ALL KINDS! Even maybe people who wouldn't consider themselves artists, or aren't so sure about the whole "art show" thing.
Emerging artists exploring new methods for reaching audiences? ✔️ New media artists who need spaces and platforms? 👍🏾 Youth artists? 🆗 Academic departments bringing their work beyond the ivory tower? ✅ Your neighbor who's really into making collages from old magazines? 🏁 STEM organizations creating exhibits for the public to interact with? 👌🏼
Expand your definition of art and artist, and you'll host some amazing shows in your space.
Having art in our space isn't just an cool side project for Assemble. We're a gallery because hanging art enriches and informs the learning that happens in our space (and vice-versa!).