It started innocently enough. One of my Facebook friends, Catherine M Foster, an artist in Poulsbo Washington, mused that she’d like to put together a list of the qualities of her dream art galleries. She wrote “I figure if I have 3-4 galleries like Dragonfire, I do not need anything more to make the kind of living I would like to receive from my artwork.”
And the discussion turned serious. Her friend Gayle said “…The key is support your galleries and work with people you trust and have integrity.”
Galleries are fighting to stay opened. Most have been hit with rising property taxes, utilities, rents (if they do not own), and tax liabilities. Many that have been in business 20+ years see what they’ve built up gradually slip sliding away. And they are trying to decide whether or not they want to stay opened and fight, or close up and retire. They are tired of shoring up, and don’t know what to expect in taxes, health care, utilities and their clients.
Many owners “get it” that technology should be their new BFF, but they can’t get the warm fuzzies thinking about it. Their inventory system is as technical as they want to get; and, that system probably took weeks to iron out the bugs.
So what DOES an artist do? A smart artist who is in galleries supports those galleries by promoting them to their collectors and potential buyers. When a gallery markets an exhibition and hosts an opening reception, a smart artist talks about it in his social media sites, website, and blog.
Peter Muzyka, painter of Vanishing Rural Georgia Art, recently had a show at The Point of Art Gallery in Union Point, Georgia. He provided a stack of detailed portfolios of the pieces in the exhibition to the Gallery. If a buyer did not purchase during the show, he had the information to contact the Gallery later for a piece.
Anne Jenkins, the owner of the Gallery, said that Peter had a complete inventory to give to her before the show, and that every painting was labeled correctly when he brought them for her to curate. He got word out to his clients and collectors about the show. His peeps were at the opening reception in strong numbers. He was punctual in bringing and picking up the art.
Peter understands he is part of a team when his work is at a gallery. He worked hard to make his show a success. And gallery owners, if they were making a list of the qualities of a dream artist, would certainly tick off Peter’s qualities.