Art Gallery of Ontario spares no expense in charging expensive entry fee
Read today in the Globe and Mail how the AGO is banking on the upcoming “Maharajas: The Splendour of India’s Royal Courts” show to make up for the lackluster attendance for a “Drama and Desire ” theater & artists themed exhibit. I suspect many people figured if they are paying $18 to see theater props they might as well attend a live theater production instead and get more bang for their buck.
This does nothing to assuage the very real criticism that the AGO a) charges way too much for visitors because b) they need too in order to pay for all this cool stuff that they spent so much on in the first place so you would be willing to pay way too much to see it.
I’ve worked as an installation designer for museums and a common term for designing a display or exhibit to be more entertaining than educational to attract more people (so it incorporates lots of bling and interaction and pop-culture references) is termed “edutainment”.
However, the colossal resources behind the AGO have enabled it to take edutainment to a whole new level by planning exhibits that are brilliant and rare collections with an equal dose of marketability and international appeal – eduartainment.
That’s super-cool, but the problem here is that I (and many others) would also like to see a gallery in the GTA full of local, national and international contemporary artists that is free to go to whenever I wanted to. Any ideas what we should call it? Probably should not call it a “museum” as those seem host broad, international cultural exhibits and place more of an emphasis on architecture than galleries. Public galleries are called “galleries” because they obviously focus more collecting, archiving and exhibiting talent from the city, province or country they are mandated to represent and can generally move to new locations and spaces when needed.
tip: last time I checked, entry to the AGO for an adult is $18. Anyone over 12 is considered an adult. You can pick up free AGO family passes at your local GTA library, and Thursdays after 6 are free