Main street is in decline with the rise of big box stores. You’ve known that for a while now. And today, even those big box stores are threatened by giants like Amazon and Alibaba. What the data is showing is that some business are remarkably resistant to displacement due to the social function they serve.
Starbucks is a great example. Ostensibly, the Starbucks space functions as a site to acquire caffeine in a variety of preparations. But customers view the space in many different ways.
- As internet cafes
- As transient working spaces
- As dating venues
- As quick dining options
The art gallery is proving to have the same resilience with as many new galleries opening as closing in the past few years. So what enables galleries to resist the forces shuttering traditional brick-and-mortar local businesses?
Studies show that art events draw professionals into networking scenarios, an indispensible social glue utility in communities. Typically, the coupling of networking opportunity, wine and / or cheese, and art has buoyed gallery businesses year after year.
Another compelling gallery mainstay is the curation effect. Gallery owners are profiled to be highly culturally, scientifically and politically aware, giving their curation efforts socially reflective pause. An art show causes attendees to stop and think. To assimilate and contemplate the meaning of their daily lives. Especially in an age of religious disaffection (or affection) the gallery continues to remind us why we do the things we choose to do.
We choose to keep galleries thriving for years to come.
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