I know there are costs involved but one of the primary reasons to host such an event is to allow anyone [ anyone including the general public that might not otherwise avail themselves of international art ] ..... to freely immerse themselves in art created by international artists without feeling intimidated or having to dig out their wallets for a look see.
So, after viewing the new exhibit at the Gordon Smith Gallery in North Vancouver[ by donation] , and then going to the new exhibit at the Cityscape Gallery[ free] , I thought it was the right time to wander down to the Pipe Shop building at Shipbuilders' Square for the well advertised indoor exhibition by groups of artists from Brazil . " ADMISSION BY DONATION"
My view in supporting such events is to first see the exhibit, absorb myself in what is there and then [ and ONLY THEN] dig out my wallet if I have the cash with me to provide a donation. Since I usually go to such exhibits more than once, if I don't have cash one day, I will make sure I have some for donation purposes the second time around.
So, I was a bit taken aback when I entered the door, to see a table right in the entrance [ not to the side, but right squarely in front of the door] , with a lovely young girl who asked me if I knew anything about the exhibit , the artists, etc. [ Right behind her there was a sculpture of mattresses floating into the sky]. When I said yes, and that I would just walk around and if I had any questions I would come back to her , I was told that would be $ 5.00. Excuse me, isn't this by donation? Yes, but we want a $ 5.00 minimum donation . OK, I don't have any cash on me at the moment. [ To which a second girl at another table , to the side of the first girl piped up with , OK we take credit cards]...... Sorry, not my credit card. It was obvious I was not getting through the door without some form of " donation"..... I said I would come back later when I had cash and left the building .
I won't be back . I didn't like the approach , I didn't like the attitude and regardless of expectations, admission by donation means something completely different to me ...... it has nothing to do with a dollar value assigned..[ isn't that an admission fee??] ..... a warmer welcome would have helped - and I am not easily intimidated. Too bad ... I was curious about the explanation around those floating mattresses.