As visual art spaces reopen amid a coronavirus pandemic, many find online viewings are here to stay
When Intuit, a visual arts museum in River West dedicated to intuitive and outsider art, closed in March, the staff focused immediately on fundraising and online content. The museum started a blog and new programming. Ultimately, the efforts were a success.
“It was tumultuous,” said Debra Kerr , the executive director at Intuit. “But we took the time to think carefully. Whatever we started we wanted to stick.”
With small physical spaces and limited staff, galleries and museums are finding inventive ways to reach patrons, like at Carrie Secrist Gallery, which posts photos of their exhibits online. “Instead of just showing artwork and this is what they’re made out of and this is how big they are, we kind of create an environment where we shot from the artist’s studio from their garden,” said Britton Bertran, the director of the gallery. “For every exhibition we do, we also ask our artists to do a webinar. These online viewing rooms are a neat idea to engage with the public.”
Performance art venues, like Elastic Arts in Logan Square, have also adapted. Before closing in March, the venue hosted around four to seven shows with artists or musicians in a given week. Currently, they stream around one show a week.