If you’re going to go frown at walls for a few hours, you might as well do it right.
Step 1: Find local galleries Go online or check with your local papers to find some local art galleries and when they’re open. Many towns have at least one gallery district of some sort.
Step 2: Learn of any free art walks or showings Find out when the art district has free art walks or group showings. Most large metropolitan areas offer monthly art-centric activities.
Step 3: Get a group of fellow art patrons Round up a group of friends who want to see some art with you and arrange a time and place for an outing.
Step 4: Dress comfortably Dress comfortably.
TIP: Even if the gallery district is relatively small, you could end up walking a lot by night’s end.
Step 5: Eat before you leave Eat something before you leave. Between complimentary wine and walking around, you’ll need some sustenance for the evening.
Step 6: Head out on the town Head out on the town.
TIP: On your first night out try the largest district in your area. The energy of people around you can help make the outing more interesting.
Step 7: Donate if you take complimentary beverages Some galleries offer complimentary beverages, like beer and wine. Often there's a "donation" jar. Consider donating. It helps the gallery assuage the cost of the show.
Step 8: Walk from end to end of the art district Start at one end of the art district, and walk down that side of the street. Then cross the street and head back to where you started. It’s the best use of your time.
Step 9: Write down info If there’s a piece of art in which you’re interested, write down the name of the piece, the artist’s name, the gallery’s name and its hours.
TIP: Don’t be impulsive and purchase a piece right away. Think about it for a night – buyer’s remorse in the art world is particularly vicious.
Step 10: Don’t wait too long to buy Don’t sleep too long on making a decision to buy. The piece you wanted might have been snagged by the time you pull the trigger — and you desperately wanted to replace that Pink Floyd poster.
FACT: Most galleries will open their doors by appointment. Just call ahead and let them know you’re interested in some of their pieces.