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Art galleries and what they look like post-pandemic

Entertainment Writer Mia Zurich visited the Artomatic gallery in Washington D.C.
Entertainment Writer Mia Zurich visited the Artomatic gallery in Washington D.C.

One of the many industries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic was the fine arts. Since then, the number of individuals who reported visiting an art museum or gallery shrank from 24% to 18% in 2022. 

One reason for this shift is that we are in a digital era where art galleries have to compete with the Internet, which provides us with art from all over the world that is easily accessible and free to view. In addition, recessions and layoffs in our economy in response to the pandemic have limited the amount people allocate in their budget for luxury items such as fine art. 

Art galleries bring a sense of community to areas, give artists a space to share their works, provide a channel for cultural exchanges and inspire creativity, which is essential for us to continue to promote for the next generations.

Many big cities or smaller towns have a plethora of different kinds of art exhibits that go unnoticed by the younger population, such as the Taft and Cincinnati art museums, which are both within an hour of Miami University's campus. 

What is becoming popular in some communities to combat the decline in engagement with art galleries is the use of nontraditional displays of art, which attract younger generations who value more abstract and modern pieces. 

Artomatic, a gallery that breathes new life into old buildings that are up for demolition, is a great way of employing nontraditional art displays. This program changes these spaces into jaw dropping art exhibits across the Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia areas and provides free admission to anyone who wants to visit. 

Photo by Mia Zurich | The Miami Student
The Artomatic gallery allows artists to showcase their work in whatever way they’d like.

An artist would only need to pay a fee of just over $100 to showcase their work in the building and engage with the community. This low barrier for entry makes this display a great way to provide smaller artists with equal opportunities. 

Using old office buildings allows for artistic freedom, enabling artists to paint on the walls and decorate the room according to their liking. The gallery is alive and has a diverse display of various art forms, including paintings, sculptures, films and drawings.

When I visited its current gallery exhibition in the center of D.C., I was blown away by the caliber of work created in so many styles and mediums. I spent two hours going from room to room in awe of the talent and creativity put into optimizing artists’ display spaces. 

Photo by Mia Zurich | The Miami Student
Several unique pieces, such as this sculpture, are on display at the Artomatic gallery.

Artomatic has something for everyone, regardless of age. You can see a variety of artworks, including detailed paintings of Star Wars characters, traditional portraits of loved ones and sculptures with themes of social activism that address issues in DC.

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Artomatic's mission is to “Strengthen the artistic community and build an audience for that community by bringing together artists to transform available space into a creative place temporarily.”