Local Art Gallery Owners Talk About How They’ve Pivoted During the Pandemic

“We’ve really gotten great feedback from a lot of our artists.”

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Representatives of four local art galleries joined Milwaukee Magazine Editor and Publisher Carole Nicksin for a livestream lunch Tuesday.

Josh Hintz of Var Gallery, Fatima Laster of 5 Points Art Gallery, Becca Sidman of Tory Folliard Gallery and Paul Salsieder of Portrait Society Gallery talked about how they’ve pivoted during the pandemic.

Hintz said that Var Gallery set up a virtual gallery tour on its website, allowing guests to browse and purchase artwork remotely during the pandemic. 

“Over the course of a couple days, we had well over 400 virtual visitors,” Hintz said.

Salsieder said Portrait Society established PSG on PAPER, an online exhibition about drawing that spotlights a different artist each week. Currently in its seventh week, the program will continue through June.

“It’s been a really interesting, intimate show so far,” “Salsieder said. “We’ve really gotten great feedback from a lot of our artists.”

5 Points has a series of virtual conversations with artists to maintain conversation within the artistic community during the pandemic, Laster said. 

At Tory Folliard, Sidman said they’ve established an online viewing room that provides a closer look at the gallery’s exhibitions, including quotations from the artists.

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Elizabeth Johnson is an editorial intern at Milwaukee Magazine and a journalism major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.