Paper Monument’s I Like Your Work: Art and Etiquette talks about the do’s and don’ts of the art world through personal accounts and excerpts. It’s an interesting read but the general consensus of those who provided an account, is that there is no social norm for the art world. There is no set guide for attending art openings, giving studio visits, or attending parties.
“Impossible to sum up because the art world is a ‘where worlds collide’ kind of place – people from different social strata, of different generations and countries, etcetera, make etiquette a constantly shifting and constantly negotiated thing. Which is good.”
However, we managed to come up with a few key pointers for navigating a successful studio visit and avoiding embarrassment. As with any social interaction, there are manners to abide by to avoid coming off as rude unless, of course, that’s your artist persona.
If you’re visiting a studio:
1. Try to be on time. The artist made time to meet with you. Be considerate of this.
2. Don’t cancel at the last minute. A studio visit requires time to prepare and this will disrupt their day.
3. Take time to look at everything. This is the one opportunity when you can see the artist’s work environment.
4. Ask questions and engage.
5. Be honest. Do you like something? Tell the artist.
6. Thank the artist for showing you his/her work.
If you’re giving a studio visit:
1. Be ready by the specified time.
2. Present your work in the best way possible. If your work is meant to be hung on a wall, then hang it on the wall. Have proper lighting.
3. Have a clean area where your visiter can place their coat or bag.
4. In general, clean your studio.
5. Visiting a studio is much like visiting someone’s home. Offer your visiter a drink or two or more.
6. Ask if they would like to sit. This will enable both of you to have a longer discussion.
7. Put work away if you don’t want your visiter to see it.
8. Thank them for visiting.