Last week we visited Big Medium gallery in Austin. The space was a large simple space that presented Johnathan Faber paintings from his ‘material’ series. The paintings boast bold bright contrasting colors. Faber spoke about the use of tape in masking off his geometric inspired work. The process of stenciling out masks of color helps put a concrete barrier to the abstract shapes. A major focus of this series seemed to be the masking tape which at times I felt was almost unnecessary. The lines could have been painted rather than masked off. The most interesting part was hearing the artist’s perspective about getting the gallery space. Faber and the curator were telling us about how they arranged the exhibit: some emails/calls, a couple studio visits, and then they threw the work up in a day. The two galleries we visited couldn’t have been more different. The Visual Arts Center at UT seemed to have very clear distinctive ideas due to its academic nature, whereas the Big Medium gallery was very laid back and was obvious that it was designed by artists. As an artist, I definitely align myself with this type of gallery rather than UT’s very academic galleries. I feel like the loose structure of this gallery allows for ideas to flow more freely rather than feeling the need to “justify” art with some sort of academic intention. I also think the fact they are non-profit allows them many freedoms that academic galleries lack. I loved when the curator said that they did not have to please any financial contributors and therefore did not try to please the viewing audience.