These reasons have kept UK adults away from visiting art galleries

Gala Bingo / Capture Comms / SW
One in five adults have never been to an art gallery – because they think they are too ‘posh’.

A study of 2,000 adults revealed 29 per cent worried they would find it boring and 14 per cent thought they would struggle to understand the art they are looking at.

And 13 per cent worry they are too ‘stuffy’ or formal.

However, 46 per cent believe the idea that a gallery is only for ‘posh’ people is a common misconception, while 43 per cent think it’s wrong that they are only seen as interesting if you like art.

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Other things many wrongly believe about galleries include having to be quiet (31 per cent), that they are only full of big paintings on the walls (32 per cent) and only for older people (29 per cent).

It also emerged 40 per cent think galleries should be places where it’s time for fun, while 31 per cent want joy – not serious and formal, with sculpture and interactive installations rated most enjoyable.

The study was commissioned by Gala Bingo to launch its ‘All The Calls Galary’ – a two day bingo-themed free art exhibition in Manchester on 17th and 18th February.

Sara Jolly, head of brand, said “It’s interesting to see the different perceptions of art galleries. Art galleries are not exclusive clubs for the elite, they are open forums for creativity and expression. Anyone can walk through those doors and connect with the beauty and diversity of art.

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"Contrary to the misconception that art galleries are reserved for a select few, they are welcoming spaces where individuals from all walks of life can explore, appreciate, and find inspiration."

The study also found the average art-enjoyer visits four galleries a year and has five pieces of art in their homes or gardens - but 30 per cent of those that like art say the most exciting exhibitions will activate all your senses – not just the eyes. A third also find visiting galleries peaceful, while 17 per cent leave them feeling more creative.

Of all adults polled, 32 per cent preferred classic artists like Vincent Van Gogh, while 13 per cent enjoy the works of contemporary creators such as Damien Hirst.

While three in 10 also like viewing art with other people, rather than on their own, according to the figures.

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Just under six in 10 (59 per cent) of those like to discuss opinions on individual pieces, while 34 per cent appreciate being offered a perspective they may not have seen.

It also emerged 53 per cent of those polled think anyone who hasn’t been to a gallery at all or recently should give it another try as they might really enjoy it - and gallery avoiders reckon they might be convinced to try one if it was actually part of a fun day out, if it was exhibiting something truly exciting or if a friend said they’d take them. 

Gala Bingo’s Sara Jolly added: “Our ‘Galary’ aims to poke fun at high-concept, fine art, to prove that all galleries aren’t stuffy but can be sensory playgrounds that will bring a smile to people’s faces.

“The All The Calls Galary opens its doors in Manchester, for one weekend only, to anyone over the age of 18.

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“From pictures and sculptures to interactive and immersive pieces, it will showcase art in all its forms to shine a spotlight on the 90 bingo calls at the heart of our community. So, while it's unlucky for some who’ve not loved galleries in the past, we think it is time to give them another go.”

Gala Bingo / Capture Comms / SW

Top 10 reasons people haven’t visited an art gallery

  1. I might find it boring
  2. I don’t like art
  3. I don’t have any interest in the exhibitions on offer
  4. I want to spend my free time doing other things
  5. No galleries near me
  6. Never had the opportunity
  7. I can’t afford it
  8. I might not ‘get it’ (not understand the art I’m looking at)
  9. Too ‘posh’ (as in, you feel like it’d be too high class, formal, or ‘stuffy’ for your liking)
  10. I don’t want to have to pay to get in
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