Gallery education, also called gallery learning is a term used to refer to the visual arts and aims to widen awareness and access to the same. Galleries by extension are social spaces that facilitate and respond to the needs of a large group of people whether they be families, disabled people, elderly people or young people. The goal is to encourage learning and access to people who are either acquainted with the visual arts or are completely new. These areas provide visitors with informal education about different unknown areas of interest that will both provide them with knowledge and arouse imagination and fascination in them. To achieve this goal many galleries and art museums have created gallery art programmes with their own departments that employ artists, educators and community leaders. We’ll go into a little bit more detail on who the educators are in just a moment but before that, it is important to know that education does not need a specific place or classroom to enlighten young minds.
Gallery educators can be a lot of different kinds of people
- Education professionals who use visual arts as a teaching tool
- Creative catalysts who work with artists, curators and directly with the community to enable connections between artists and the general public.
- Audience champions or people representing the interests of schools and the community in a gallery or the museum.
- Advocates and project managers who make sure meaningful projects and programmes are being promoted and delivered on time. They also campaign for the arts and education policy.
Now that we know who these educators are we can move on towards why gallery education is important or rather what its advantages are. Gallery education can promote visual literacy by helping people develop the tools and experience needed to appreciate and understand art on a deeper level. Many of the visitors that walk into these galleries are unaware of art in any form and hence unable to appreciate its beauty. Such visitors are given the chance to explore enough information that will change their views on the same, unlock creativity and further encourage people to explore their creative potential and contribute to the industry. It can also bring about cultural empowerment by informing people about different cultures and building people’s confidence of artists, galleries and the culture around them. All in all, these galleries help widen the horizons of its visitors and are a culmination of different resources that will both enlighten them and encourage them to ask crucial questions.