They say art is objective, to each their own, so why can’t a gallery be that way as well? Part of the reason there is confusion with what a gallery is and isn’t, is because is there really an is or isn’t? Tongue twister – but stick with me.   

Gallery – gal·ler·yˈɡal(ə)rē/  noun

1. a room or building for the display or sale of works of art.

2. a balcony, especially a platform or upper floor, projecting from the back or sidewall inside a church or hall, providing space for an audience or musicians.

Those are the definitions that appear when you Google the word “gallery” and they aren’t wrong. But why does it have to be a room or building? Louisville is, by definition, a city but if you look closely it is a gallery within itself. 

Strolling through the streets you will see murals commissioned alongside buildings and fences. The Mayor, Greg Fischer, embarked on beautifying our downtown alleyways by having local artists paint the doors that lined them. The Royal’s Hot Chicken greets you into Nulu, slices of images provide a glimpse into Hikes Point’s history on Taylorsville Road, and a pixelated scene of flowers lays planted between the Shelby Park and Germantown neighborhoods. Local artists just completed the latest addition to Louisville’s Street Gallery at Dave Armstrong Extreme Sports Park. Each of these works of art has multiple things in common: completed by local artists, vibrant in every sense of the word, depict something relative to their placement, and are not jailed by four walls and a ceiling.

If a gallery by definition displays works of art – couldn’t a theater be a gallery? I reminded you that the Louisville Ballet opened their Season of Romance last month, don’t they create art? They dance, an art form, and move their bodies in ways I wouldn’t dream of trying to, another jaw-dropping art form. And the Opera! Oh. My. You cannot convince me that the members of the Kentucky Opera are anything but artists. So, where they perform must also qualify as a gallery, right?

I’m a gallery owner. I operated a business that I own out of a four-wall and ceiling area that is covered with local art. Wild Ginger, just down the block, holds a mural = Gallery Owner. The VIA Studio, see image below, holds a mural = Gallery Owner. The former Monkey Wrench (RIP) boasts a painting of Hunter S. Thompson = Gallery Owner. Are you sensing a theme here?

Moral of my story is, a gallery doesn’t have to be enclosed. Remove the snobby, too expensive to afford stigma that has followed around the word for decades and recognize that if you can witness or contribute to a display of artistic talent (legally! I do not encourage trespassing or vandalism) then you have encountered a gallery! 

Check out more #MADSAboutArt HERE.

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