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Art & Culture

Auld Lang Syne
Frank Stack
PS:  Gallery
Strength in Unity
Hallowe'en Fright
I See Nekkid People
The Muddy Mural
Livin' Large, Kinkade Style
Eliciting an Emotional Response
Marie Hunter
Out, Damned Spot
Danielle Eldred
Local Museums Thriving
Art in Stephens Lake Park
JD King
Strike a Blow for Liberty
No Vail of Tears
Ammanford Sculpture Controversy
Bear Creek
Larry Young
The Lowest Common Denominator
A Different Kind of Success
Taking Risks
Out of Her Gourd
Hey, GalleryMan!
Harry Potter and the
    Superstring Revolution

Investment Grade
Giving Thanks
One Free Minute
Odds & Ends
Monkeys with Car Keys
Sharon Kilfoyle's Wearable Art
Farewell Betty
Happy Birthday, Naoma
Back to School
Take the Pledge
Canopy Conundrum
Columbia's Stonehenge
It takes a Village
Hope Springs Eternal
Dorrell review
Growing Season
If the Shoe Fits
That's Not Art!
Elite Appeal
The Hunger Artist
What Sells
Gallery Ettiquette

Bookbinding & Conservation

lessons learned from this profession


ok, I'm not the guy from SNL,
but I still have a sense of humor

'Jim Downey' Stories

mostly true stories from my

Personal Essays

more "it's all about me"


Iím at -7.13/-7.33 on The Political Compass.  Where
are you?


observations on the human condition


take a trip with me

Published in "Legacy Online" April, 2003

Gallery Ettiquette

When we first opened, people would actually come to the front door, stick their head in and ask if it was OK to come in and look around.  (Um, yeah.)  Still today we have people who just aren't sure about how to 'behave' in our gallery.  We want you to enjoy yourself, to just be comfortable and relaxed.  So, for anyone who's still a little unsure, here's some "do's and don'ts":

Do come in.  It's OK.  We like it when people come in.  Really.

Don't stand there with your hands pressed against the front door, peering in.  It makes us feel like we're in a fish tank.

Do enjoy the artwork.  Buy it if you can.  We're a gallery, not a museum, and only stay open through the sale of art.

Don't touch the art.  There are some exceptions, which are usually obvious.  Ask if you're not certain.

Do ask about the artists.  We know these people, like to promote them and their work.  We'll be happy to tell you a little bit about them.  But there is a limit; we're not a dating service.

Don't loudly proclaim that you could do as well as some particular artist.  Maybe so, but it isn't your work on display.  Respecting the talents of others costs nothing, and is a quick way to earn respect yourself.  The obverse is also true.

Do feel free to bring in your drink.  Just don't spill it on anything that you don't want to take home.  It sucks to have to buy a piece of stained art.

Don't tell me that your 'kids could make that'.  No, they can't.  People have been saying this sort of thing about 'Modern Art' for about a hundred years, and they've been wrong.  If you don't like a particular artist or style of work, feel free to move along to some of the other great artists we show.  That's why we have such a large selection of styles and media.

Do feel free to enjoy the food and drink during our receptions, readings, and so forth.

Don't feel free to enjoy my lunch if it's sitting out because I went to help a customer.

Do, please please please, keep your kids from touching the art, kissing the art, tackling the art, licking the art, kicking the art, hugging the art, et cetera.  No, it's not cute.  Trust me on this.

Don't be afraid to ask if we have other works by a particular artist.  Chance are, we do, and we'll be happy to bring it out for you.

Do feel free to chat with your friends in a normal voice.  We're not a church.

Don't hesitate to buy a piece if you find something you love.  It's heartbreaking to tell people that the piece theyíve been thinking about for the last two weeks was purchased by someone yesterday.

Do let us know if you have any questions.  No, it doesn't mean that you have to buy anything.  Even people who are 'just looking' can have questions.  Itís OK.

Don't be afraid to heap praise on us for what we do.  As Twain said, "I can live for two months on a good compliment."

Well, there's a few things that hopefully make it easier for you to feel comfortable in our gallery.  Come in often.  Enjoy yourself.  Just leave my lunch alone, OK?

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all work © James T. Downey, 1993-present
photos © Martha K. John, 1994-present
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Coeurbois Graphic Design