Art Market

Galleries and museums in Chicago have turned to a restaurant reservation app to plan visits.

Justin Kamp
Aug 10, 2020 3:35PM, via The Art Newspaper

Photo by Yura Fresh, via Unsplash.

Galleries and museums in Chicago have turned to the restaurant reservation app Tock to assist in organizing socially-distanced gallery visits as the city’s art scene begins to open up in a limited capacity. Ten businesses, including galleries such as Andrew Rafacz Gallery and Patron Gallery, as well as institutions including the Museum of Contemporary Photography and Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, have begun using the app to plan appointments, with more likely to join in the coming weeks.

Nick Kokonas, CEO of Tock, told The Art Newspaper:

Gallery openings were always in the back of my mind because other event programs are not aesthetically appealing or versatile. With COVID-19 making even everyday visits more challenging, Tock is a natural fit to help manage reservations, tours, openings, and other events.

A similar service has also appeared in New York. In March, the exhibition mapping service app See Saw added the option to contact galleries via email to schedule appointments. The appointment functionality has since been expanded, and now more closely resembles a restaurant reservation system.

Ellen Swieskowski, the co-founder of See Saw, told The Art Newspaper:

We want to make it easy for anyone to visit galleries, we always had this idea of who is really going to make an appointment? That’s so daunting for the general public. If you are going to visit a restaurant, you aren’t going to send them an email asking for available times.
Justin Kamp
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Jenna Gribbon, Luncheon on the grass, a recurring dream, 2020. Jenna Gribbon, April studio, parting glance, 2021. Jenna Gribbon, Silver Tongue, 2019