Had the honor of being invited to a round table conversation in Darien CT at the home of Jan and Bob Dilenschneider, to chat art and it’s importance in Connecticut. Was also especially honored to be in the room with Tom Loughman, Director of The Wadsworth Atheneum and Ann Sievers, Director of University of St Joseph Art Museum.
Arts writers from the Hearst publications were fielding comment and perspectives from invitees. Great comments from all around the room. Check out the article below or link to it (here)
S Salon: Art leaders gather for an evening of spirited conversation
Updated 12:00 am, Friday, July 7, 2017
Photo: Johnathon Henninger
Every day, millions of photos, pithy (and not-so-pithy) musings and social updates are shared across a digital medium that has had a fundamental impact on the way people converse, relate, shop, consume information, seek out services and appreciate art.
It was the latter that had about 30 gallery owners, museum directors, artists and directors of nonprofit art spaces from across the state pondering its effect on the commodity they sell, show, create and foster during an “S” Salon at Jan and Robert Dilenschneider’s Darien home in May. The couple are strong proponents of the arts, both as advocates and creators. Jan Dilenschneider’s paintings have been shown in area shows and internationally.
“I immediately embraced the web presence, the digital, virtual world,” said Eric Ben-Kiki, owner of EBK Gallery in Hartford. “They are so dependent on each other. It’s undeniable. You cannot have one without the other. A brick-and-mortar space gives a kind of substance and content, but that virtual, or digital, space gives you relevance. You have to embrace it.”
Christopher Wyant, the owner of Norwalk’s Avenue Gallery, sees it as a place where he can educate his customers about art in general. It is his hope that area residents will gain a better appreciation about the importance of art in the home, and the opportunities to invest in quality works from artists who live and work in their communities.
“I am finding the biggest help is to have an educational aspect to your website,” he said. “A gallery website that is just an online shopping portal, I feel, is not necessarily going to do well. The new generation of art buyers are not educated about art, and we need to take the time as gallerists to educate the clients walking in.”
This wide-ranging conversation touched on many topics, from cultivating a new generation of collectors to the need to get Connecticut arts institutions out of the shadows of their cultural counterparts in New York City. During the next several weeks, on these pages and on the web, “S” will share images and observations from that evening.