Covid Shutdowns Lead to Pioneering Exhibitions in VR
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Art Gate VR is pleased to announce the sponsorship of the School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design (AMPD) at York University with free exhibition space in Virtual Reality (VR). Covid shutdowns have closed classrooms, galleries, and important cultural spaces. Together, AMPD and Art Gate are re-imagining the idea of exhibitions with VR technology.
York alumnus Brendon McNaughton heard about AMPD’s move to online programming in response to COVID-19. Remembering how important faculty and student exhibitions were during his studies he wanted to help. McNaughton arranged a meeting with Sarah Bay-Cheng, Dean of the School to brainstorm a solution. Together they decided that exhibition space in virtual reality for AMPD faculty and students would be an innovative solution to the gallery shutdowns taking place. When regular gallery operations resumed they could still host exhibitions in VR to more easily connect with international audiences.
McNaughton is an internationally recognized contemporary artist and the co-founder of Art Gate and AMPD has a history of innovative teaching research in VR. Through a partnership between Art Gate and AMPD, gallery spaces in VR will be provided to faculty and students until the end of the 2021 school year. Art Gate is an art market in VR. They specialize in making gallery spaces accessible in VR for exhibitors from around the world.
Student exhibitions are a key feature of the Visual Arts program at York. Not only do exhibitions enable students to share their work with an audience, but developing and executing an exhibition offers vital professional learning opportunities. We are excited for our students to explore the remote exhibition possibilities offered by Art Gate VR.
-Sarah Parsons, York University Associate Professor & Chair, Department of Visual Art & Art History.
To access these exhibitions people put on a VR headset and they feel as if they were standing in a gallery space. They can see and talk with others and join social events such as opening receptions and artist talks. Anyone without a VR headset can watch Livestreams of events over Facebook.
Cris Contini Contemporary’s Masters Collection in VR. (Left to right) Lucio Fontana, Andy Warhol, Robert Indiana.
Exhibitors from North America, South America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and Australia actively curate and host social art events in Art Gate. Erin Loree and Alex McLeod are among the contemporary artists on exhibition. Masters such as Cindy Sherman, Pablo Picasso, Louise Nevelson, Andy Warhol, and many other artists in between can be found in Art Gate as well. All the exhibitions are open to the public for free. Art Gate is excited to explore the possibilities of this new exhibition context with York University and hopes that you can attend and participate in the upcoming exhibitions in VR.
AMPD students and faculty who wish to exhibit in VR can find the information needed to get started here:
Patrons can support York University and Art Gate with this initiative here:
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