Museum as Retail Space, aka MaRS, has a revolving glass door that's awkward to open yet seductively ambitious-looking. Guests enter into a shop, called Shop! Then they climb a few concrete stairs to the exhibition space, quite large for a brand-new gallery, especially one that's showing young, emerging artists. But the unusually transparent business approach of MaRS, which opened in January, is largely what makes it exciting. Instead of being elusive and secretive about the financial side of the business, as galleries notoriously are, MaRS set out from the start to be open about the fact that it's selling art objects. Prices are no secret, nor is who gets invited to which private dinner. The idea is that less shadiness gives consumers, both those with resources to buy and those who just appreciate art, more freedom to enjoy an artist's ideas. Certainly, the space gives off down-to-earth, inviting vibes.
Credit: Vijat Mohindra