MUSEUM 2050 Dispatches

Updates from Art Fix

Tara Advaney

“Give us 30 minutes of your time, and we’ll give you a lifelong passion in exchange.”

During lockdown, we learnt that we can achieve a lot in just a half hour. There was the option to make banana bread, do an at-home workout with no equipment, or perhaps finally dust off that chessboard that The Queen’s Gambit inspired you to grab from the shelf — all within just 30 minutes of your time and the constraints of your four walls. And while those who hadn’t ever touched an oven turned into Gordon Ramseys, and Baby Boomers started to obsess over TikTok, our team in The Hague launched Art Fix: the world’s most accessible online contemporary art course, out to demystify the world of contemporary art. 2020 saw the creation of our first season in which we unpack a hot art-world topic in each episode. Our topics range from sculpture, to art-meets-fashion collabs, to demystifying art auctions (we even take you into a live auction)! Much like a Netflix Explained, each episode is all about storytelling: why did an artist choose to include that particular detail, what was the journey to get a sculpture to its end destination, why does a work make use of a particular technique. Art Fix answers these questions while remaining accessible, with a good dose of humor and often a touch of cheekiness. But most importantly, we bake our Art Fix values into every episode, making sure we’re consistently supporting female artists and empowering those whose voices have been softened by the art world.

Some may say that the timing was ideal: with museums shuttered and exhibitions being postponed over-and-over, the market for online learning was hot. This is true – investing in yourself and using phrases like “I learnt it online” definitely became more acceptable and perhaps even valued during the lockdown. But our concept also came with its own challenges. Zoom fatigue was settling in hard, and many people didn’t want to invest in a product that was not as essential as the, say, new work-from-home optimised furniture. That’s why the Art Fix team has been hard at work to make content that truly delivers on our platform’s goal: to meet people where they are by sharing the art world’s insider stories that are relevant at this point in time. What do we mean by relevance? By discussing the topics of today: think the rise of public art in outdoor spaces, the infusion of Black Lives Matter in the art discourse, and the continued wave of art going digital (whether forcibly made digital due to the pandemic or not). Our mission has always been to allow people to formulate their own opinion about art, and while there’s not as many dinner table conversations happening for our members to flex their new knowledge as we’d anticipated when we first dreamed of creating Art Fix, we’re hopeful that our community will at least have some physical interaction in the year ahead. In 2020, we curated almost 50 exciting Stories, ranging from tip-lists of must-see destinations (if they were located in that location, that is!), gift guides, and interviews. Ironically, our tips lists are actually called “IRL” (In Real Life), so we’ve got our fingers crossed that our members will be able to do less online scrolling and more physical IRLing of our recommended destinations in the year to come.

Our canal-side office in The Hague has been a flurry of excitement and hard work in the first weeks of 2021. From curating the Valentine’s Day gift guide, planning our upcoming Instagram give-aways, and securing our artist content for the second season, we’re looking forward to the year ahead. And this all while cooking up our very exciting new episode of Art Fix: Spot On – Light Art. Yeah, we know what you’re thinking: seems like more a “twinkling” December topic, right? The Art Fix team wanted to kick off the new year on an optimistic note, and because, simply put, it can only get lighter from here. Get ready for Dan Flavin’s tubes, James Turrell’s skyspaces, Tracey Emin’s neon, and Studio Drift’s dandelions. All in just half an hour, as we promise. Art Fix may take only 30 minutes of your day, but we assure we’ll give you a love and excitement for contemporary art in return. We’re looking forward to more of these exchanges in the year to come.

About the Author:

Tara Advaney is the growth engine behind Art Fix, heading up all marketing and partnerships. Based between Dublin and Amsterdam, Tara also works on Business Development for Facebook/Instagram.

About the Series:

Museum 2050 has always been about bringing people together through our community’s shared passion for museums and institutional development. As the world slowly and carefully starts reopening, we are checking in weekly with various members of our broader network to share personal reflections, anecdotes and musings about how they and their institutions have been operating in the face of this pandemic. In these incredibly difficult times for all, we hope that these brief vignettes from around the world bring us closer together, and remind us that even when the world stops and museum doors close, we still persevere.