Week 3 “Galleries”

Purpose:  Create awareness of Gallery/Institutional Art structures, and imagine themselves in these structures to the point that they become reflective of what they hope their purpose to be.

Particular Lesson Outcomes
  • Evaluate and activate the purpose and promise of the commercial side of contemporary art, creating a catalyst for new as well as divergent assessments and perspectives within a wider societal context, and illustrate those contributions and their effects to colleagues.
  • Become knowledgeable of the variety of institution types in the professional art world and how they are organized, with an appreciation for the position and function of each, and how it informs agency as artistic consequence, creating meaning.
  • Gain insight about art, the artist, and the contemporary art world and assess the mechanisms and practices of art’s role in society regarding political, sociological, and philosophical theories of art, culture, class distinction and cultural capital.
  • Envision themselves as active members of cultural industry, and prepared to enter the professional world of contemporary art practice in a variety of capacities.


Lecture on Art Events, Global and Local, including Fairs, Biennale’s, etc… (40 minutes)

  • Michael Turner  Whose Business Is It?  Vancouver’s Commercial Galleries and the Production of Art in Vancouver Art & Economies p.205-218 (on Connect)
  • Gabriele Detterer  The Spirit and Culture of Artist-Run Spaces in Artist Run Spaces:  Nonprofit Collective Organizations in the 1960s and 1970s p. 10-49 (on Connect)

Discussion Questions

(30 minutes)

1.     How do the authors describe the various roles that artists might take up?
Possible responses: Entrepreneur, worker, experimenter, networker, volunteer, teacher, archivist, administrator, producer…

2.     Who are artists interacting with in these articles? And what form does the interaction take?
Possible responses:  Art public, other artists, curators, gallerists, architects, collectors, funders…

3.     How is power and privilege articulated in these relationships?
Possible responses: Social capital, economic capital, cultural currency…

4.     How might you further explore your understanding of the relationship between artists, the local art community and society more broadly through your experience with your partner?

5.     How have these readings challenged or reinforced your values and beliefs about the role of the artist?


The last ½ hour will be used to discuss CBEL experiences thus far, reflection on meeting with the partner.

Describe & Examine

Individually take five minutes to write a point form description of your first meeting with your partner.

  • This description is intended to be objective, detailed and focused on the most significant aspects of the meeting.  The purpose of drafting this description is to make the meeting present in your mind so you can reflect upon it. The challenge is to avoid interpreting/judging the experience and to focus on recalling the important details.
  • Once you have a description drafted, take a few minutes to respond in point form to these questions.
  • What assumptions or expectations did I bring into the meeting? How did they affect what you did or didn’t do in the meeting? To what extent did they prove true? If they did not prove true, why was there a discrepancy?
  • How did you feel in the meeting? How did I interpret the thoughts, feelings, and decisions of others participating in the meeting? What evidence do I have that these feelings were accurate or not?
  • In what ways did I succeed or do well in the meeting? What personal characteristics helped me to be successful? In what ways did I experience difficulties? What personal characteristics contributed to these difficulties?
  • How did this experience challenge or reinforce my values, beliefs and convictions? How did it challenge my identity as an artist?

Get into groups to Share/compare your observations and responses to some of these questions.

Large Group Share Back

Students share the key ideas that surfaced.

  • Assist with problem solving and critical questioning to prompt further examination. (communication, understanding the culture, understanding organizational structure, and interpersonal understanding)
  • Bring in topic discussion from readings to further uncover why certain experiences may have been had

Articulating Learning

Have students respond to these questions individually:

  • What did I learn from this first meeting?
  • Express the learning in general terms not just in the context of this specific situation. What will I do in light of it?
  • Set specific goals relative to this learning. Consider the benefits and challenges associated with fulfilling these goals.  How will you know if you’ve achieved these goals?  How would things be different?

  • For October 16th, please prepare and print a poster for display that describes your partner; include the mission, history, structure, programming, and other details for the purpose of knowledge sharing with your classmates. As well, a blog submission on your institution/artist with a summary, and include a smaller version of your poster (pdf or jpg) on your blog for classmates to download.
  • Readings on “The Artist’s Studio” due for next week’s reading discussion.