The Bakova Gallery in Hillsborough may be closed due to COVID-19 concerns, but the gallery is allowing guests to visit virtually through "Bakova Sessions," a series of live interviews and virtual tours on the gallery’s Facebook account.
Dates are not set for the upcoming events, according to a March 25 press release from the gallery, but artists scheduled to appear include Montreal-based artist and filmmaker Alexandra Levassuer, Rhode Island-based artist Jenny Brown and Raleigh-based sculptor Kelly Sheppard Murray.
The gallery also hopes to feature local bands and filmmakers in upcoming sessions.
Bakova Gallery owner Nick Baldridge said the live interviews will give audiences a chance to better understand some of the art shown in the gallery and in the sessions.
“We hear from our clientele that they want to know about the artist,” Baldridge said. “They want to understand the art on a deeper level. I think live interviews are a perfect and somewhat obvious way to go about that.”
Brown said she thinks the sessions are a peek into the future of how artists will talk about and market their art.
“I think as the world continues to change, I think more things will happen online, maybe even studio visits,” Brown said. “So, I think it's good to diversify how we talk about our art, show our art — and in the case of local artists or artists like myself — bring in new customers.”
The sessions will feature local artists whose works are not being exhibited in the gallery.
“We don't have enough wall space for everyone," Baldridge said. "So we would like to venture into a broader spectrum in our programs, to reach out to more local artists.”
Brown said the sessions can give artists an opportunity to show off their work even though galleries are closed.
“It gives the artist a chance to still be working towards their goals,” Brown said. "I know I've had many shows canceled. It gives them a goal, something to work toward.”
Baldridge said even after the gallery reopens for business, he hopes the sessions will continue on.
“Even after the virus and the epidemic passes us and everyone's reopened again, I still want to continue with these interviews,” Baldridge said.
Baldridge aims to both entertain audiences and support artists during a difficult time through the sessions.
“I hope people take away the entertainment value of it and the cultural relevance of it all,” Baldridge said. “The human part of me wants that first and foremost. The business part of me wants all of these artists and all these musicians and stuff to reach an audience that can help them survive financially, maybe we can help sell their stuff, help them in some way continue to afford to be an artist or a musician or whatever the medium is.”
Brown said she hopes the sessions will allow viewers to talk and hear about things they love during a difficult time.
“I think that life is still going on,” Brown said. “Let's keep celebrating the kinds of things we're interested in, and just because we're in this difficult spot doesn't mean we can't come together to talk about art and things and keep a sense of normalcy going.”
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