Museums and galleries are a crucial cog, driven by the tourism trade
By Caoimhe Clements: Arts Columnist
Galleries and Museums arguably are the centre of the Art World. Maintaining a strong supporter for artists, communicating their work to the viewer, and achieving exposure for creative individuals. Galleries are forced to remind close, what about the impacts on others?
Speaking with Artist Latisha Reihill, about the impacts of gallery closure due to the restrictions for the public health and safety, she confessed ‘Well I was very let down with the fact that three of my exhibitions were postponed/cancelled’. Typically, an artist may dedicate months or years to an exhibition, to maintain what they set out to achieve.
Lastisha who is based in Belfast further explains ‘With the lockdown it also impacted my ability to get materials, particularly frames etc. This meant I couldn’t get paid for work as it was put on hold.’ Artists were not the only people feeling the effects, financially.
A survey carried out by The Art Newspaper declared that galleries all around the globe will lose around 70% of income due the effects of the pandemic, they explained ‘Galleries around the world are expecting to lose an average of 72% of their annual revenue due to the Covid-19 pandemic’.
The arts industry is extremely crucial. Museums and Galleries help to boost tourism, they add value to the cultural tourism industry. Museums and Galleries help us understand the world, culture and historical events, with 1 in 5 tourists will visit a Museum or Gallery. Why do people in the art industry feel that the government has failed to support them during the Pandemic?
On 26th November 2020, The Irish News shared the scene at the Irish Institute in Dublin where they had expressed their concerns in a poster that read ‘No Arts, No Point, #savethearts’. Feelings of angry, frustration and upset can be felt here. The hashtag Save the Arts has in fact been trending for months in several locations in the world including UK and Ireland, as artists feel that their government do not care about the industry.
In the UK the Arts Industry is in the top five most important industries. The Independent claimed last year that the Arts Industry was more important than agriculture a report which was carried out by the Arts Council England. They continued to explain how the arts are ‘an essential part of the British economy’.
If reliable reports and sources can claim the importance of the Arts, why would the government not support the industry when needed? Or do the government still in the era where the arts were not still as a ‘real’ job and the importance was not valued?
Will Galleries survive the Pandemic? either hanging by a thread, with concerns and worries about rebuilding the future or the impacts of the support received will help to rebuild the damage done, in a more positive approach.
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