Last year for our birthdays, Julie and I received not one but two year’s worth of membership to the Vancouver Art Gallery. These were thoughtful, generous gifts, and right up our alley.
Normally when I go to an art gallery, I want to see the whole thing. I spend an hour and a half or two hours, and I frequently leave feeling mentally spent. I get my cultural fix, but it’s kind of overkill.
Now, with my VAG membership, I can go whenever and for however long I want. Mostly I visit the gallery when I have some extra time–even just 15 or 20 minutes–downtown. It’s really transformed my relationship with the VAG. I go a lot more often, but each visit is much shorter. I might only check out a dozen pieces of artwork, but that’s fine, because there’s no abstract pressure to ‘get my money’s worth’.
A single membership only costs $60, and a ‘household’ membership for 2 adults and any number of children only costs $80. The general admission cost is $15, so if you already go to the VAG four times a year, it’s worthwhile.
I thought the current Arthur-Ericksson-is-Jesus exhibit was a bit over the top, but it does feature some beautiful time lapse videos. There’s also a pretty cool exhibit about prefab housing called Some Assembly Required.
At first I wasn’t sure about these kinds of shows at the gallery, but I think they make the experience of ‘seeing art’ a lot more palatable and relevant for today’s consumer.