Noting the difference between experiencing an exhibition and attending its opening, the AGA provides a fair ground to start from since only the common area was crowded as drinks were not allowed inside any of the exhibitions.
In the front reception space, speeches were held unveiling the official opening, which many of those present had already sneaked a glimpse during last week’s collage-a-thon. The ceremonious cheque exchange announcing TD Waterhouse’s $150,000 contribution to the New Vision Campaign was also marked; but as the campaign goes on, the AGA still needs a few more contributions in the seven figure region.
As the speeches went on, the regular opening vultures descended on the refreshment. Already under supplied what for a few marinated cherry toms and typical chicken skewers, only the cash bar remained opened for the 100 + public long after the remanants of basil leaves were cleared.
A few of the artists were in attendance from their week long install, and as they mostly clustered amongst themselves, the art in the other room now had didactics up to explain the works before you.
Usually a good idea in a public gallery, didactics can be as useful as they are harmful, but with the AGA's re-introduction of them, let's hope they are read as one singular entry point that can and often should be challenged.