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Your inbox as an art gallery

Monday, May 10, the "Inbox Art Show" will turn your email inbox into an art gallery! This online show consists of one email a week containing photos and information about a single painting. Think of it as a designated digital space where you can focus on a work of art as if you were standing in a gallery or museum -

  • The wall - The white space on the screen becomes the gallery wall.

  • Your tour guide - The audio or video becomes your gallery assistant or tour guide.

  • Your brochure - Think of the written materials as your brochure.

  • Look around, ask questions - Just hit "Reply" or DM me. I welcome any conversation about the work!

I chose this format to help you get the most out of your online art experience.

Long before the start of the pandemic, I was concerned that we now live in a world where more art is experienced online than in person. Of course, there are great advantages to this. Art is more accessible than ever before. We get to discover so many more artists and learn about more types of art that we may not have known about without the vast possibilities of the internet. However, we should also develop an awareness for when we are viewing something that was not created for the format in which we are experiencing it. To be an internet-savvy art viewer is to recognize a reference for what it is and remember that it is not the actual work. Otherwise we risk settling for a substitute, cheating ourselves out of the true impact of the art. This means using the internet as a guide - not a replacement - for "IRL" art experiences and then seeking those out.

Of course I want people to see my work, but it is disappointing that I am only able to offer most people a photo instead of sharing it in person. It feels like giving someone a picture of Hawaii for their birthday instead of an actual trip to Hawaii.

It feels like giving someone a picture of Hawaii for their birthday instead of an actual trip to Hawaii.

So when I wanted to show the 9 paintings I made in the beginning of 2021, I was not sure how to go about it. It is hard to find physical space for shows, even in the best of times. But with public spaces restricted and gatherings still discouraged, I knew I would have to find another options. I researched virtual exhibition platforms, but the only choices seemed to be clunky 3D simulations, slideshows, or endless thumbnail grids, none of which seemed like an optimal experience for the viewer.

I decided to ask myself a simple question - What do I love about seeing a work of art?

I decided to ask myself a simple question - What do I love about seeing a work of art? For me, it is the personal and intimate connection that takes place in the physical space. I explore a show by taking in one piece at a time and trying to give myself the opportunity to have the full experience of a particular work before moving on to the next one. I realized that the best way to imitate this process virtually was though email. By discovering each piece in its own separate message, the viewer is able to focus one painting at a time, without the distractions of a scrolling social media feed or an online platform to navigate. I am also able to enhance the experience with information about that particular piece, including video or audio files that might mimic a museum or gallery experience. After walking a show in a gallery or museum, I usually try to go back and take it all in together, looking at the body of work as a whole and what it has to say. I will also be able to provide this part of the experience at the end of the show by offering a page that contains all the content of the show to be viewed in one place.

For more information or to sign up, go to the Inbox Art Show landing page.

Thank you for being here to take part in this with me. It couldn’t happen without you. Please share with anyone you think might appreciate it.

- M.E.

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