How do Actuaries See Art?

When visiting art galleries, do you prefer guided tours or would you rather wander around aimlessly?

Do you read the descriptions of each artwork or just admire from a distance? Do you share your thoughts with others? Do you try to see everything on display or are you content to spend time contemplating a select few? Do you like to take selfies with portraits?

These questions were on my mind as I made my way to the Art Gallery of NSW one evening in September for an Actuaries Institute networking evening. The event was already in full swing as I arrived fashionably late, with about 100 or so members in attendance. This was a great opportunity to catch up with familiar faces and build new connections over drinks and canapés. It seemed there were at most two degrees of separation between all of us.

After a short welcome from Vice President Lindsay Smartt, the second half of the evening comprised of exclusive access to see the finalists of the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman prizes, and even more networking inside the exhibition.

With 128 paintings to see, I made an attempt to view at least each of the prize winners. It was an interesting challenge trying to identify the portraits – for example, Barry Humphries, Adam Goodes and Gladys Berejiklian (admittedly, those are the only three I recognised – perhaps I will try to improve on this next year!).

Whichever way you like to experience art, the evening was enjoyable and went by very quickly. And if you’re wondering, I didn’t see anyone taking any selfies.

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