I am not an artist. I can’t paint or draw or analyze a landscape. My friends aren’t artists. We don’t discuss art. Our outings are uncultured to say the least. But I fell in love with Gallery Night Providence. And you will too.
GNP is, in simplest terms, an art crawl. On the third Thursday of every month from March through November, 25 Providence galleries and “art spots” participate in a city-wide event. The concept is simple: Hop around the map on your own or take a tour. School buses leave from the Regency Plaza throughout the night, taking tour-goers to a series of four or five spots on the map. Fun fact: Prov is the only city in the country that offers free transportation on their gallery night, making the event one of the best free outings the state has to offer.
Most of the participating art spots coordinate their opening nights and events to Gallery Night, so its essentially a moving celebration. Before ever stepping foot into a gallery, the only exposure I’ve ever had to the scene was from television. Old swanky ladies and men in berets, chicks with purple hair, men in suits and women in outrageously high heels sipping on wine and nibbling cheese while discussing the art that surrounds them with the people that created it. This is actually what its like. This exists in Rhode Island.
The general population stays away from these types of events because if they’re anything like me, they figure first, they’ve never touched a canvas so they won’t “get” it, and second, it will be boring. What I didn’t realize until standing face-to-face with a painting was that looking at art is just as stimulating as listening to it or reading it. If a sculptor or painter is putting extensive amounts of time into a piece, the story it tells can be just as dynamic as a scene in a film or lyrics in a song. And more often than not at GNP its creator is there to tell it to you.
The art you’ll see on the stops at GNP goes beyond pastels on a canvas. See for yourself this coming Thursday, April 18. Head to www.gallerynight.info.
In the meantime, see what Debralee had to say about it at last month’s edition below.