Art fairs are good for learning how to appreciate paintings.

For first time art fair goers or beginners in the art appreciation journey, art fairs can be intimidating.  Surrounded by “experts”- artists, gallery staff, collectors -we are strangers in this unfamiliar world.  People are speaking in English but with terms that we hardly comprehend. We do not know where to begin and what to do.  

An art fair is unlike a museum exhibition.  Museum exhibitions are calm, quiet, dignified affairs, where paintings are neatly arranged with proper labelings, where we silently absorb the paintings in front of us.  Art fairs are lively, noisy, marketplaces, where paintings are meant to be bought and sold.  Dialogue is expected, where gallery staff introduces their artists while collectors or buyers enquire about paintings. 

Even though the primary purpose of an art fair is to sell the paintings at the booth, galleries also look at cultivating relationships with new collectors or buyers through “educating” them.  Galleries hope that by helping us appreciate paintings, we can eventually become their customers.  Hence gallery staff manning the booths are happy to talk about their artists and the paintings they carry, and also sharing about paintings in general. 

Knowing that galleries exhibiting at the art fairs look forward to sharing their artists and paintings, we do not need to be apprehensive about talking to them or asking them questions. 

How to appreciate paintings? Do not be intimidated by art fairs.  The galleries exhibiting at the art fairs look forward to sharing with potential customers on how to appreciate paintings. 

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