2004_07_ask_vincepainting.jpgI've been longing to feign arty hipster-dom and go to a gallery, but am a little intimidated. Can I just drop in during normal hours even though I have no intention of buying anything?
- L.

According to Brooklyn artist Vince Contarino, you can indeed drop in at any time, as galleries are open to the public. However, if you feel intimidated or overwhelmed about jumping into the gallery scene, Vince recommends going to some openings of artists’ exhibitions at galleries first. You can find a list of openings at the DKS List of NY Art Openings. Gothamist Arts and Events also has lots of openings listed each week. You might want to check out the Jen Bekman Gallery while making your rounds, since they’re currently having a photography exhibit featuring the work of Gothamist’s own Jake Dobkin. Or give Art in General, a nonprofit art gallery, a try.

Ask Gothamist’s dad, who was a very smart and funny man, gave us good advice about being in fancy places where we felt out of our element: He said the classiest people were the least pretentious, and that if anyone made us feel bad to simply call them “nouveau riche”. Gallery owners can’t tell at a glance if you have no intention of buying anything - and who knows, you might surprise yourself and find something within your budget or buy something one day down the road.