Attendance at museums and the WAG is still significant, and funding these larger institutions permits works from A-Team established artists and craftspeople to come to Winnipeg. However, as a purveyor of all things urban I would like to see art being brought back to the people and the streets. This is not a new idea but it is not without merit.
License all galleries, offer sliding scale cover charges and permit conversation and laughter. Let’s carry drinks about and have places where folks can sit and enjoy themselves surrounded by artworks. Restaurant galleries are a current movement in a new direction but walking around gazing at works can be awkward when there is a family of four having dinner by the piece being considered.
Small independent galleries also need to lose their air of stuffiness. I understand they are catering to their market and hope to sell works. However, there is a new class of money folks who are far less stodgy in their manner and approach. Market your works to them. Open your doors to the public, accept the risk and engage the commoner. There is a reason why video games, movies (not films) and radio music appeal to all. Now, I understand that art has rarely been populist and I am not really calling for that. Make your venue attractive to regular folks, encourage local artists and craftspeople to present their works. Borrow from the Spectacle and open your fucking doors.
Bring back the decaying warehouse space, the underground gallery, the tiny art pub, use the Web. I call on local artists to defecate on the mausoleum of approved works.
Herr Doktor’s Note: This is not finished. There will be more. The Donald Street Collective is committed to rejuvenating and revitalizing the DT experience, aesthetically, politically and actively.