I’ve just got back from an art opening in a little gallery in one of the artist collectives on Leith Walk. The art wasn’t that good, but the exhibition was great. Sounds like an oxymoron? Well no, it’s not, because I’m talking about the enjoyment of actually going to see art ‘live’.

In the past year I’ve ‘infiltrated’ a huge number of art openings across the capital, schmoozed with people who knew what they were talking about, drunk gallery’s free booze (oh the joys of cartoned wine), and, in the end, saw some work worth skyping home about. Every time I went I was shocked that there weren’t more students reaping the quite considerable rewards of attending a gallery’s opening.

And honestly, it’s not just for the freebies that I’d urge you all to go. Seeing art within a specifically ‘curated’ context adds so much to your appreciation of an artist. A lot of thought goes into the pairing of works so there’s a sense of aesthetic flow (you get what I mean?) or the playing of one artist off another within a group show.

Openings might also be the ultimate place for people watching. I went to a Diebenkorn exhibition in the summer and felt like I had stumbled into a private viewing for the surviving founding fathers of abstract expressionism  – there were a lot of very cool elderly men in double denim and white tee shirts. I felt like I was observing Deibenkorn’s own ‘clique’; it really added to my whole appreciation of the artist.

So how can you find out about the next openings?  Start with the ‘Look Oot For’ section in your trusty copy of The Student, but also check out The List and The Skinny.

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