What Happens Here
- Displays of art produced by professionals or amateurs
- Displays of church history and artifacts
- Mission or ministry exhbits
- Community or ministry exhibits or events such as job or health fairs
- Storage for materials and display furniture not currently in use
What to Look For
- What is the main purpose of the gallery or exhibition space?
- Does the space seem to be private (for the church) or public (for use by the community.
- How visible is the gallery or exhibition space to passersby? How does the space’s location seem to affect its usage?
- Are food and drinks allowed into the space?
- Are items for sale? If so, how are transactions conducted?
Why It Matters
Many churches display decorative work on their walls or make their rooms available for ministry to the community. One church designed their lobby to be a full-fledged art gallery for use by the public in an effort to create a place of intersection with their community.
“Conservation environment” is the term used by museum professionals to describe the carefully controlled lighting, temperature and humidity systems used to protect and preserve valuable works of art or historical artifacts Toward that end, they also must control the behavior of visiting patrons. Don’t eat! Don’t drink! Don’t touch!
The presence of such an environment is what distinguishes a museum from a gallery or exhibition space. Churches are usually interested in sharing expressions of spiritual experience or truth to as many people as possible, and would never dream of creating such an exclusive environment.
It is still fair to ask, though, how much interaction is allowed with valuable works on display, and to make appropriate provisions to care for art that is on display.
Room x Room posts are brief examinations of the nature, purpose and potential of typical spaces used in ministry. The intent is to help users see and consider how each component contributes to (or hinders) the ministry it serves.