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Favorite art galleries

Updated: Mar 9, 2023

Honorable mention: Musee D'Orsay

This topic is always hard for me. There are many galleries I love for one reason or another and I'm not sure I could pick just one.

The first gallery I ever went to would be a staple in my life until I moved away from my hometown at the age 24.

The Mendel Art gallery in the booming metropolis of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Thinking back to my time spent there over the years I can't remember a single exhibit. What I remember is making art on the floor in the first exhibit hall on the left. The floor was always cool which felt like heaven in those hot summer months.

I remember the conservatory with the humid air we would play hide and seek in. Seeing tropical flowers was the first moment i remember wanting to travel to see such things in their natural habitat.

They used to have these talks every once in a while by different artists. I remembering not being able to convince anyone to go with me and catching the bus by myself across town to go. I would take this bright yellow notepad with me and through the talk I would take down questions I had. Yes I was that kind of child and afterwards I would go up to the artist and ask my questions.

The thing that still sticks out to me is how they never made me feel like a silly kid. They answered my questions fully and made me feel validated. Then there would be refreshments. Coffee was my poison and it was usually as thick as molasses but by that point my love affair with coffee was already well on the way to becoming a full on romance.

I contribute those interactions with despite having social anxiety I have no anxieties about approaching artists.

All through this period I would never consider myself an artist. I was drawing most days in my journal and on occasion would still make art with my mother but I was terrified of someone besides my mother actually seeing anything I created. Which when I think about how outspoken and very much confident I was in the things people considered me being out of the norm, it really didn't make sense.

The Albertina Museum in Vienna, Austria is another that stands out in my mind.

Monet is one of my favorite painters and they had an Monet exhibit there when I was planning on being in Germany. At the last minute I decided to extend my holiday to include Vienna and Budapest so I could catch the exhibit. I lucked out that day that it wasn't very busy. I arrived at opening surprisingly after getting horribly lost trying to find a coffee. It is a theme when I try to find my way anywhere I have not been before I'm constantly lost.

I had seen these painting in pictures a million times. I had pour over them for hours trying to figure out the magic they had over me but I wasn't prepared for how captivated they would have me in person. In the first hall I sat on the bench surrounded by his paintings on baby blue walls a soft classical tunes playing over the speakers and I was transformed to another world. I spent the whole day there and I remember thinking I can die a happy woman. Melodramatic maybe but it was one of the most cathartic experiences I've had with art.

I remember afterward I messaged this Canadian artist and told him about it. And I told him I knew what I loved about his work. He was my modern day Monet. Not because of the style but because of the emotions it evoked in me. It brings a smile to my face just thinking of it.

Again because of Monet the Musee de L'orangerie in Paris has the most stunning Monet exhibit.

The large panels cradle you in a surreal paradise. It's what I imagine floating on clouds feels like. The building itself is a work of art also as so many buildings in Paris are.

The last that comes to mind is Buda Castle in Budapest, Hungary

It's not for any specific artwork and although it is a beautiful building it is because of the interesting people I would meet there.

The first time I went the line was horribly long and I was not waiting 3 hrs. to go to a museum so decided to just grab some lunch instead before heading down the hill. The waiter was very insistent that I was to have apple strudel instead of another beer that I had ordered and as he walked away I called

"but I want..." and the gentleman beside me looked up and asked "what is it you want?" and I told him I had asked for another beer but was getting strudel instead. He introduced himself as Raymond who just happened to be an artist also. long story short the whole event would end up in a debate about the merits of cattle. On my second visit 6 months later I was nursing a broken heart after travelling halfway around the world, to see someone who couldn't be bothered to cross the city to see me, we would spent a night painting nothing but cows and drinking wine together.

The second time I actually went into the museum. I was standing in front of a statue of king Matthias pondering how I could see why people would have thought him of the vampire persuasion given his bold features and mysterious gaze when this young woman, Alex is her name I would find out later, tells me who the statue was of and we ended up having a lovely conversation about the history of the castle and other such things. Which lead to a friendship we would rekindle every time we were in the same country. she is also the reason I have an obsession with paprika chips.

The third time we ended up meeting a musician who told us about a meet up that ended up in meeting a man who's name I couldn't remember and ended up just calling him tennis balls because of the shirt he was wearing and lead to a tour of some pretty interesting clubs. Also that night would end in heartache.

Although multiple heartaches would have been reason enough not to have fond memories I was greatful to have experienced such a dynamic artist community. It still remains one of my most inspiring places to date.

Jackie ♥️

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I've had a different experience as an art student at MICA. When you're a student at the institute you're seen as a rock star, as an artist traveling to galleries, you recognize all the little successes and failures of a piece. Yet, you keep all that introspection under your hat or you come across as a "know it all".

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Honestly I enjoy "know it all's" 😂 I've had some wonderful conversations with people kind enough to share their knowledge with me. But that is an interesting point I've mostly viewed art purely on esthetics.

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