Following the outbreak of the unorthodox pandemic, things have come to a stop. People are trapped inside the walls of their homes. Many operations have been suspended until Covid-19 decides to abate – hopefully soon. Everything has gone online. From educational institutions to making massive business deals, all have been shifted onto the internet as a temporary solution. However, the question still stands if these virtual set-ups can be the right alternative?

Unfortunately for the art fanatics, art galleries and museums have also closed their doors since the stay-at-home announcement in early March. Even though the office bearers have decided on holding online art shows, devotees are still ambiguous if this will provide the same experience as it does tangibly. If you are an art enthusiast, you’ll be familiar with the approach of appreciating art. It is more riveted by observing with the naked eye instead of some lens, sitting miles away from the original.

Silent Art Districts: 

These cultural districts are established in the cities to create art ingestion among laypersons and to cherish for the admirers. These districts contain art galleries, cinemas, theatres, museums, and venues for art and music performances. 

As we know, many of the ventures have shifted to creating online content. According to them, these schemes can, however, never make up for face-to-face events. It is impossible to predict what more damage may pandemic bring to the world of art. Galleries and exhibitions have been greatly affected. There is no theory about how everything will emerge after the quarantine ends. Sadly, like many other maneuvers, some gallerists have chosen the option of shutting down their businesses due to the abrupt loss in profits. Things might keep going downhill if the situation fails to improve. According to a Los Angeles Times survey, 25% of the galleries participating in the survey have decided to cut down the staff or send them on leave. About 34% have claimed that they haven't taken this initiative yet, but they might be forced to do so shortly.

Art in San Pedro:

It is not an easy job to bring people to newborn art galleries, whether they are located in art districts or not. However, when these gallerias are opened for long hours, with loud melodious music entering the ears and food trucks holding their positions in every street of the district, people come – A lot of people come. 

Many such initiatives exist in the streets of San Pedro. They are collectively recognized as the Waterfront Arts District. From the beginning, the district has now become a home to many artists. They have managed to open their studios and galleries all across the area. 

In the heart of this San Pedro's Art district lies the remodeled Downtown Books and Art Gallery. Our gallery welcomes both the readers and art buffs to come and enjoy the mountain of books and admire the gorgeous canvases filled with imagination and colors by our artists. The biggest plus of being situated in San Pedro’s district is that we can have crowded exhibitions, sold-out events, and of course, a lot of fun. People used to come in big numbers. Some bought the art, many only observed and discussed. This setting was ideal. We heard all kinds of thoughts and feelings about our exhibitions and events. We also actively participated in the famous 'The First Thursday Art Walk' every month and it was always worth it.

However, this was the case before Covid-19 decided to hold the planet under its claws. A lot of galleries are in pain due to that, so are we. We require an audience for occasions and activities with artists to survive. In quarantine, we managed to conduct a small show for ourselves only. Quite optimistically, we decided to open in June of this year, but it just wasn’t our luck. 

The virtual realm:

Although virtual exhibitions and shows might be an easy ticket to experience such occasions, it won’t be near as good as the real exposure. We have all been surrounded by this unpleasant situation and there is no assurance if anyone of us comes out of it unscathed. In the meantime, we need to take some crucial decisions to keep our endeavor active. There is already a practice in Seoul where people are roaming around freely once again. They allow limited people at a time to come to visit the artifacts. Since people are still hesitant in flying from place to place, we can focus our events on locals. Strategies like such are to be implemented to save the district. Otherwise, it just might keep shrinking until it finally disappears.

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