What do you do when the line at the museum is too long? Or you’ve already been there about a million times? Are tickets all gone for that exhibit? While the masterpieces at frequent attractions never cease to amaze, perhaps gallery viewings can exist in other formsand with coffee too.
One of the most overlooked gallery spaces occurring in most people’s weekly lives are nestled in coffee shops and cafes. Coinciding with the rise of coffee-culture, more and more cafe’s have breathed new life onto their walls and into their communities by artifying their interiors. This culture of hidden galleries is a golden idiosyncrasy of local art culture in any city, benefitting both artists and viewers alike.
A cafe is a rare space that brings people from all walks of life into a common area even for a small slice of time. These spaces have slowly diversified for people not only looking to catch up, have a quick cappuccino, or relax but also for business engagement and the increasing number of remote workers. There is a large range of cafes from the funky menus and mismatched furniture, to block colors and modern design. Despite the variance, something can be certain: they draw consistent diversity in clientele. What better way to make gallery viewing accessible to all?
Displaying your art in local and common spaces can help you intentionally connect with the communities that matter to you. While making connections and networking at every coffee- smelling corner can be tedious, delegating reproduction of your work to an external service can alleviate the pressures of logistics. This way, your work can be in the spaces you love through a fast, professional, and durable means while artists can focus on creative energy and personal connections. Stay open to new local possibilities that can enhance your following and trust that even with directed efforts to attract specific viewers, there is always space for the random admirer to stumble upon your work just as they stumble in for a quick latte.
More and more hybrid spaces continue to pop up encouraging accessibility and diversity of local arts scenes. Aequa Community Cafe Berlin shows off prints from local artists in whimsy string-and-clothespin wall adornings. In Barcelona, Cafe Cosmo’s bright open space is complemented by funky and vibrant murals and frames. Colourful Art Cafe in Amsterdam started when the artist and owner sold a first painting to an innocent cafe-goer! They now offer a place for others to experience the same. These spaces continue to delight bringing galleries to neighborhoods outside of the normal tourism radar. When next looking for an artistic outing instead of the map apps and travel guides, maybe a gallery is just a short walk away.