An Unlikely Use of the Gallery Space

An Unlikely Use of the Gallery Space

We have a wonderful art studio and gallery giving us the fortunate opportunity to earn a living doing what we love. The art world is rich and dynamic as new artists and trends are always emerging. Different kinds of people frequent our space adding to the constant stimulation. We went into this venture with great hopes expecting long-term success given our commitment and passion. I hope we have made the right move to follow our dreams. We wish the same for our blog readers. In the end, we will know.

While all kinds of interesting personalities come and go, one of the most unusual was the president of a local safety watch group who wanted to rent the gallery to host a women’s beginning level self defense class. It would be a basic introduction to the art of self protection in the interest of promoting self confidence when out alone at night. So many things can happen and there are ample sad stories that tell the tale. College women have become frequent victims and many were expected to enroll. Lainey loved the idea and agreed to their proposition with the proviso they she be allowed to attend as well.

While such a class is an unlikely use of the studio and gallery, anything that promotes improvement and safety is most welcome. This is an open-ended concept but seems to dovetail nicely with fine art in some odd way. Self defense is a means of expressing personal freedom from victimization. Art is a way of expression personal emotion of any type. Both appeal to the inner self and its vital needs, whatever they may be. A self protection course in our space is most appropriate; proof came when the attendees became awed by the surrounding artwork. They found it inspiring and motivating and responded immediately to the forms and colors. I imagine that self defense would be an interesting subject for a series of autobiographical portraits. It would be cathartic and potentially profound. There is nothing as frightening as being assaulted. It is an enormous violation of the self. If someone has ever experienced an attack, they would relate to the work in a fundamental manner. Art brings inner thoughts and feelings alive as they are embodied in paint on canvas.

The class was so popular that we agreed to let the safety watch group return again for an advanced lesson. We approve highly of educating people as to their personal rights and how they can exercise them in the face of aggression. There are numerous easy self defense moves that you can practice in your own home in varying degrees of difficulty that can help women fight back. In addition, they can carry mace, brass knuckles (now made of tough plastic), a collapsible baton, a body alarm or a stun gun. The options available give each woman a choice as to how she would deal with an assailant and what she would be comfortable doing when faced with immediate threats to her survival.

Rough Start to The Night

When it is time for a show, we all mobilize to get ready. It takes a good eye to decide where everything goes and what sequence of artworks looks best. It matters what you put side by side so that everything creates a harmonious whole. It is an art in itself to put together an exhibition apart from the creation of the art itself. It is my world and it encompasses a wealth of creativity and forethought. Lighting is of vital importance as it enhances and brings out the fine qualities of each work. We have all sorts of track lighting, spotlighting, etc. so that we can customize the space. When the viewers arrive, the mundane gallery is turned into a magical realm. The light leads the way.

Imagine our chagrin when one opening night a few hours before the doors were to be unlocked, a strategic lighting bulb blew out over one of the key sculptures just before the show was to be revealed. Such bad timing! Plus, we had no replacement bulks nor anywhere to get them since we ordered them from a catalog and they took a week to arrive. You don’t find gallery lighting in your nearest drugstore. Maybe the hardware store would have a good substitute but it was closed. We were in a quandary as to how to remedy this dilemma. Giving it great thought, I decided to take a stop-gap measure and in MacGyver fashion to use a LED flashlight to illuminate the sculpture rather than let it sit in the dark. Basically, I rigged the flashlight from to the empty bulb socket and as funky as it appeared, I don’t think anyone would notice. Unusual installations are part and parcel of the gallery scene.

After the crowd arrived, there was so much going on that virtually no one looked up to the ceiling to spot the flashlight. If they had, I would have claimed it to be part of the sculpture. What a novel concept they would have commented, but alas, it all went unnoticed. Perhaps that is better than giving the artist credit for something completely unintended. Perhaps he would even have been annoyed. But the opening went off without another hitch and the sales attested to the show’s success. It was one of the magical nights when people seemed to respond particularly well, enough to loosen their pocketbooks. It is a good thing we didn’t panic over the missing bulb since the sculpture in question was one of the most popular pieces in the exhibition. We had a great deal of interest, and by the end of the night it had sold. At least two other people were disappointed as they wanted it, but they were too late in making their decision. I wonder if any of them would have wanted the flashlight to take home to showcase their new artwork? It was a silly thought, but nonetheless it occurred to me.

Preparing The Gallery for Showing

Today was a daunting task set before us. Who really knew how much work goes into setting up an art studio. There are so many behind the scene things that go into this exhaustive preparation that the visitors to the art studio will never see. Planning and more planning had to be done before work could even begin.

  1. The first thing that I decided to do was choose a theme. I am not a party planner, but thanks to great resources and helpful hints from friends and other artists that have done this before, I realized that theme is very important when it comes to a showing or an exhibition. Theme is just as important as the art itself. There has to be a flow and a cohesion associated to the pieces that cries to all the onlookers that observe as they travel throughout the gallery. This was not an easy assignment. The sky was literally the limit with all of the possibilities for themes for the new showing. We played a round with several ideas. One idea was ‘All Things New’. We thought this would be very interesting because, well the studio was brand new to us. We could choose pieces and artists that share in this expression of newness and renewing of life. That theme was tossed back and forth many times. We also thought about love. Who doesn’t ponder over the intense consideration of love and all the mystery of this broad and crazy emotion. Once again, we pondered diligently over this theme as well.

Now we begin to look at more details. Colors and tone are huge issues. How do we want the atmosphere to feel? We researched smells along with color. Certain smells definitely evoke emotion. We wanted to present that emotion. We wanted the connoisseurs to crave for something. We were not quite sure what that craving would be quite yet, but we want there to be a strong craving. Smell coupled with color is definitely a great way to tug on the emotions. We as artists should know all of this stuff. We should know that some colors makes you hungry and others makes and environment feel sterile and cold. We researched all of the colors and smells that make people feel excited, sad, even angry. This all was such an intense experience that brought out great emotions within us as were working on grabbing the emotions from others that it became tiring, but great.

Next decision was lighting. Lighting is crucial to any theme because it works hand in hand with the mood that you are trying to create. Certain lights generate lots of heat. Do we want this? How do we offset this with our internal climate control? Lights truly make a big difference. Fading out, the angle, the glare-free scope of things; we needed to know how this all worked together. With the discussion of light, brought on the contemplation about the time of day to have the event. If we chose a building for the gallery with windows, how could we work with the sun light or perhaps even the moonlight if at night. Curious moments were still ahead.

We needed to consult more specialist in order to overcome many of the obstacles. The great thing about this experience is that all of the questions and investigations lead to us meeting more great people. Some were in the lines of support work for us yet others were artists and artistic souls. We were able to get so much input on various areas of interest for the art theme. The journey has been truly irreplaceable.

Who You Gonna Call? An Exterminator!

Challenges come in all shapes and sizes when you deal with people. We love people, but some just aren’t very considerate. Our last artist was one of those people. We have rules set in the contract about eating, cleaning and storage, but sometimes after week one all of that seems to be forgotten and we end up with horrible situations at times. This was the case was Austin. Oh My God! He was a major snacker. He created lovely pieces, I just don’t understand how he got anything done with all of the breaks he took to eat. Anyway he moved out, but pests moved in.

We have ants everywhere. There is close to an infestation of them at this time and I want to call an exterminator, but Cameron really believes we don’t need to spend that much money on the problem. Maybe he’s right but I just think we should attack the problem full force with all of the ammunition we have and not give the bugs any chance to revitalize. Cameron told me to calm down and let’s take a trip to the department store down the street. They carry everything, even bug spray. We found the lane carrying our desired poisons and started reading all of the labels. We stood there nearly an hour reading and goofing off reenacting bug spray commercials. We picked out 5 options. We had sprays, gas bombs, traps, motels, and food.

We got back to the studio and declared all out war. It was going to get ugly, but it had to be done. We covered our special pieces first and tried to follow all instructions on the containers. We were forced to evacuate until morning. The fumes were too strong to endure.

We returned the next morning very hopeful. To our surprise, when we entered, we were greeted by a long line of ants. We were both thinking, what went wrong? We had failed miserably. Cameron wanted to go another round with bug spray and traps and the whole 9 yards, I just wanted to get rid of the ants. Watching them was making my skin crawl. It was just disgusting. I finally convinced Cameron to call an exterminator. This may have shredded every bit of pride within, but at least we would be able to reclaim our studio.

We called a popular exterminator in the area. They could not come out for a couple of days and this was frustrating. I was torn on whether to close the studio for a few days or just keep it open and hope no one gets bitten or becomes just as disgusted as I was with the presence of the pests. Cameron and I agreed to keep the doors open and just be very alert of what is going on especially when artists and potential customers come through. We managed to observe and kept a spray can nearby at all times.

The exterminator came Thursday afternoon as promised. He did an excellent job. The spray was odor free, but it worked well. When Cameron and I arrived at the studio Friday morning, we saw nothing moving. There was a bit of clean up, but well worth the effort. So far, all day, and I have seen no little creatures creeping around.

Even on an Off Day

A few friends and I had planned a great little getaway. We love the outdoors and being part of nature. So since things were coming together so beautifully at the gallery I knew I could take 1 day off. It was time to hit the waters and go kayaking. This was one of my favorite passtimes.

A couple of my best friends met up at my house and we began to load up. We used my friend’s pickup truck so we would have plenty of room for all of the gear. We had to load in kayaks, paddles, and huge hiking bags. You just never know where an adventure will lead to. I was super excited since I had not been in a while. I couldn’t wait. Just before we left though, I had to check one more thing. I can’t go on any adventure without my camera. You never know where the next awesome shot will come from and experience tells me that there is always the perfect shot waiting to be taken in nature.

Finally we were off. It was only about an hour drive to the location. We arrived ready to get going. We all got our gear together, applied sunscreen, sprayed a little bug repellent and we were ready to hit the rapids. We headed back to the truck to grab an inflatable kayak. All of us took our section and headed to the water. The adventure began.

Once we were in the water, a sense of freedom and exploration pierced my soul. I couldn’t take it even a moment. I had to grab the camera. It seems like every shot caught my attention. There were the changing colors of the trees along the bank of the river. Then there were the different plants. I had to get a shot. I brought my attention to the water. It was beautiful. It was not crystal clear, yet it was so inviting. Just then, a fish leaped from the water performing acrobatics like an accomplished gymnast. I nearly toppled out of the boat trying to get a shot of a school of salmon swimming together. They were orderly and neatly lined up in rows even as they shifted slightly around to avoid the kayak. How can one not enjoy such beauty that is laid before us.

I took my gaze back up and over and there was a deer and her baby. They are such strong animals, but they appear so delicate to the lens. Perfect shot for a nature lover. Just above the deer were the most unique looking species of bird. I had to capture the very moment it was about to take flight. It didn’t stop there though. Shot after shot after shot, I captured the majesty of the bird taking to the sky and absolutely owning it.

As our kayaking venture came to an end, I was still so excited. I had something to take back with me. When I arrived back to the gallery, I couldn’t wait to get in there and find a local place to have my photos developed. I could just picture them already organized and framed. They would be strategically displayed throughout the gallery. No day is an off day when you love what you do.


Our Best Show Yet!

All I can do is rejoice! All of the hard work has finally paid off. We have had our very best show ever! We want to take time to give respect and recognition to all of the great artists, art vendors, entertainment vendors, the community supports and everyone that contributed to the success.

First of all I have to acknowledge all of the great artists. This is the reason that we have come together for this great cause. We wanted to carry the art forward to many generations. Some schools are completely cutting funding in areas that involve artistic expression. We thank the artists that seek to continue to express the great love felt in sharing the arts and sharing skill associated with the arts. We also want to thank the vendors that assisted in so many ways. They were so available and gleamed with excitement about the event as much as we did. The art vendors went above and beyond their commitment to us in many ways. They helped us out and saved the day in many instances by contributing extra at times when we ran short.

The entertainment was just awesome. The average person would not understand the fun and joy in art. That’s why we are trying to bring a more than average excitement to everyone about art now. Bringing together many talents and genres; the community day would have been nothing without art. Music sets a mood and brings creativity to the mind. So the entertainment portion of community set it apart like none other.

Food had to be included as well. We had our vendors that added the unique touch to everything. We didn’t just want popcorn, but we desired vendors that made popcorn with a twist. They added popcorn balls and color, texture and dimension to the food. We had small cakes and cupcakes on display that made the event joined in every way. The food itself was art. From heart shapes, to small sculptures of people and buildings, art was truly displayed in everything that day.

Last but not least, we thank all of the people. We love our community and they showed us that they love us as well. So much support was given that day. We are so greatful for the drawings that were set up, because we were able to receive contact information for future contact. We know that this is only the beginning of many major events to come. The togetherness can be compared to few other instances. It was purely having an event coupled with the people, services and all come together in an unexplainable unison.

This truly was the best event ever. Once again, we would like to thank all that participated with us in the event. We will be doing this and greater again, perhaps annually. So look out for upcoming events with us.

Increasing Curb Appeal

Improving from the inside out. My trusty partner, Cameron is about to take care of some very necessary upgrades to the building. We both pride ourselves in setting our best foot forward in all that we do and in all that we are part of. We labored intensely to get the studio set up on the inside and have it presentable, including our major slop sink kitchen remodel. But now it’s time for some major curb appeal. It won’t require much either because the outside of the building has always been in great repair. There are only a few little things that have to be taken care of. A few touch-ups and a major bath.

Cameron decided that the building would look spectacular after it was pressure washed. Cameron took on this lone adventure to get this done and done right. First obstacle, finding a pressure washer to rent. Cameron did a Google search to first learn about the best pressure washers. So we came together and checked out some Wikipedia articles and some ehow articles. Determined to learn as much as possible, a good portion of a day went into researching the article. We learned a lot more, like proper pressure and the type of detergents to use. More important than what to learn was what not to do. This exercise was very needful.

Now Cameron was ready to start contacting vendors to rent the pressure washer and accessories. Who would have known there would be so many questions about a piece of seemingly simple equipment? There were numerous questions and the great dealers had all the right answers. Cameron finally picked up the pressure washer that would meet the needs of our building.

Outside, armed and ready; Cameron geared up for the experience of a decade. It was quite comical to watch , but I could not peel my eyes from the window. First if all, the simple assembly was not simple at all. Attaching the hoses and the spray attachments took lots of muscle. But Cameron never backed down. Finally assembled, ready, set, go!

Cameron pulled the trigger and the water spewed out with a force so great that it threw him back a few inches. Very hard to get and maintain steady footing, Cameron fought through it like a champion. After several minutes, things got easier and easier. The pressure washing was done like a professional.

Once Cameron was done, the bricks looked absolutely new. That was really all the outside needed. I am so proud and fortunate to have a great partner that cares just as much about the business as I do. The artists and the renters both compliment the new fresh look from the pressure washing. Thanks Cameron!!!!!

How Thin is Too Thin

We have truly become a family here at the studio. We know each other more intimately than most people know there families. That being said, we notice things. We begin to notice everything about one another. One of my observations made me very concerned. I am into health and fitness. As a matter of fact, health is next to my number 1 love of art. We even have times at the studio for relaxation, stretching and yoga. Fitness is a huge deal. But I have been observing one of our artists from a far. This week when I saw her, I had to ask myself, “How thin is too thin?”

Macy has been coming to the studio for a while now. She is enthusiastic, creative and paranoid about her weight. She is a beautiful person possessing inner and outer beauty but she doesn’t know it. I have been watching her from a distance because she is not very talkative, but has a stunning presence. The first conversation that we actually had startled me because it was all about her having trouble with her weight. She is about 5 foot 6 and at that time only 130 pounds max.

Today, when I saw her, I had to say something. I went over to her and just tried breaking the ice. I asked her how she was doing and then about the piece she was working on. Quiet and very brief answers are all I received. I tried to engage in ways that would inconspicuously lead to weight. After a few moments of beating around the Bush, I just came out and asked her how much weight she lost. She stopped in the middle of the brush stroke. She stared forward for a moment and then softly responded. “Only 5 or 6 pounds.”

I nearly lost it. This girl had to have lost twenty or more pounds. She was way too thin. Mr. Bones, our high school biology skeleton, was larger than she is now. She turned back to me to say she needed to lose more but always struggled with her weight. I asked her was she seious. She looked puzzled as if I were teasing with her. I definitely was not teasing.

She finally got frustrated and maybe annoyed. I was passed frustrated and annoyed several minutes ago. Why can’t she see her beauty? She said she was fine . I insisted she was not. I asked her how much she weighs. She told me she weighed about one hundred and twenty pounds. I responded, “No way!” I demanded her to get on the bathroom scale. She was reluctant at first. I insisted though.

We slowly made our way to the locker room. She walked over slowly and removed her shoes from her feet and all the change and keys from her pocket. Macy stood on the scale. The scale read one hundred and one. I told her see, you are too thin. Please stop the dieting. You may need to talk to someone. You are not fat at all.

A Home Improvement Dream Come True

Cameron and I share a wonderful place that keeps us close enough to the studio to make us comfortable. We have been living in this area for a while and love it, but there always come issues with any old property. Ours include the high power bill and low amount of hot water every morning. But thanks to a great art expo, these problems are soon a thing of the past. Cameron and I have been so frustrated getting up trying to get ready at the same, perhaps washing a load of clothes also just to find, no hot water for the next shower. This ends today. We can use the proceeds from our last art expo to fund the purchase of a tankless water heater.

We are heading out to get a new tankless water heating system. We heard that they are all the rave and worth every word of it. So we are about to be part of it. They are having an awesome sale at a local store that will throw in installation for free so we had to jump on it. We went right in with our chests stuck out proud ready to move into this century with the new water heater technology. We were surprised at the seemingly simple package that the system came in. It made us wonder if we could install the system ourselves. We decided against that though since not long back a pressure washer had nearly taken Cameron out of this world.

We are so excited. We have our system and had a time set up for the installation. As a matter of fact, we have someone coming out today that will get us set up well. We are happy we didn’t try installing it ourselves. It might not be too hard for more experienced Do-It-Yourselfers, but we are new to this. We know nothing about gas and electric connections and all of that.

The installation guy has finally arrived. I ran to the door like my long lost uncle had just gotten here. It’s about to happen. In the morning I planned to intentionally start the dishwasher, the clothes washing machine and take a shower all at the same time. I am confident in our new accessory. Cameron will still be able to take a nice warm shower when I am done.

The total installation didn’t take very long. The installation technician did a great job. The walls still look really good and there are no unnecessary holes or marks left behind. This is truly one of the best decisions we have ever made togethet. The tankless water heater ranks high on the list with the studio. This was a guiltless purchase for sure. When I tried my theory, it was correct, I really could run multiple devices and we still had hot water available.

Just food for thought, I don’t recommended installing one without a professional. It really looked quite intense and like an exact science. It’s always better to get help and make sure you don’t break something and void whatever warranty that you would have had.

A Picky Client

There is an old saying that goes something like, ‘if you do something you love, it seems like you never work a day in your life’. The art gallery has most definitely brought some blissful feelings to us. It has been nothing less than a dream come true. But even dreams get a little complicated at times as do people. We had a challenge today with a nice lady with some very certain unchanging ideas about what would happen and where.

Around ten this morning, a very hip looking young woman entered the studio. She seemed serious and determined from the onset of the visit. I greeted her with and a smile as usual. She proceeded closer and closer to me with something in her hands. As she got closer I could tell it was her cell phone. The young lady was thumbing through to find pictures of her living room which housed her newly remodeled fireplace.

I asked her how I could be of assistance sensing that there was something very specific on her mind. She responded that she needed art to compliment her new fireplace insert. She said she had to have the perfect piece to go right above it. I told her I could definitely be of assistance to her with that. I reached my hand gently toward her to grasp her phone slightly. I wanted a better look at the fireplace pictures and the surrounding decor in the living room. Instantly, I just knew the perfect piece in the gallery. We had just gotten it in and I was so excited.

I invited my client over to the area that housed her ‘perfect’ painting. I began to excitedly explain every detail about the painting. I was bubbling. I knew the artist quite well and that was just a plus to be able to sell one of his pieces. I went on a moment longer about the size and how the colors would reflect beautifully in the space right above the fireplace. Just when I thought I needed to escort the young lady to the counter, I looked at her face. My heart sank. She didn’t like the painting at all. She simply said, “Can we see something else?”

“Sure.” That was my faint sulking reply.

I let the young lady lead the way for a while. She gazed to her left and headed straight for a painting that I loved, but didn’t think it right for her space. Once we reached the painting, I cautiously explained what I thought. I was very cautious, not wanting to upset her, but wanting her to have that special something that she wanted. She listened and though, I made some great points, she still was torn. We moved on. This time, I took the lead again.

I wasn’t going to lose her trust nor this sell. This young lady came ready to buy, not just to window shop, so something was about to happen and soon. It did. The young lady finally smiled a big sincere smile from the eyes. It was funny because it was like we both looked at the same painting at the same time. We both knew it was the right one. My picky customer left happy.


Community Outreach; Hosting an Arts Day

This is the reason that we are in this business. We want to give back and show our love of the arts to the precious many that would not be complete without this tremendous expression. There was no better way to give back and promote our up coming venture than to have an Arts Day for the community. We had lots of planning to do again, but all would be well worth it. We have to set aside a location, get vendors, and get artist and arts teachers.

We were really picky again about location because we need it to represent all that we are and all that we want the future gallery to become. We want to draw as many as possible to the community arts day and not forget that it is all about community. People from all around hopefully will join, but we have to find the angle to attract those close to home since they will surely be our biggest supporters for the long haul. So we began to search for the official location. Parks and community centers were the favorite choices for the Community Arts Day.

Now we needed vendors. This task was reminiscent of the times of trying to find the artist to participate in the showing. We had to get several lists together again. We needed to find out who was interested and which vendors would work well to incorporate with the cause. We not only wanted those that are selling supplies for artists like different types of brushes and with several water and oil based paints. Those vendors will be quite easy to obtain, but we also need entertainment. We want young and old involved. We needed popcorn machines, cotton candy machines and funnel cake. This community day had to be fun and informative.

Finally, we went after the main ingredient. We went to get artists and art teachers. The vision was to have live portraits being painted right before the very eyes of those interested. We wanted demonstrations of paint mixing and several types of brush strokes to cause the artist’s intended effect. Also we needed some teachers. No one can learn unless they be taught. We sought out great teachers that would be patient, be creative and inspire. We sought people with a unique style that would bring out the complete novice’s inner artist.

This event was huge and I am sure it will make the difference for us in all of our future endeavors in the art word. There are definitely more challenges to come for us, but we are gaining knowledge as we go. Nothing is considered a failure, but all is chalked up to great learning experiences. Little fear is available anymore. Things are positively falling into place even when they don’t look like they will. We press forward to greater things as we continue on this journey. We are beginning to welcome the next adventure and the next instead of scurrying around with panic when unexpected questions and situations pop up. The gallery and the showing are just meant to be and we have the diligence and the resilience to face all of these challenges face on.


The “From Slop Sink to Beautiful Kitchen”

Nothing says progress like beautification; like nothing also screams ugly like an outdated kitchen. It was time for forward progress again with the studio. We knew when we took on our new perfect place that perfect didn’t really mean perfect. But, instead, as artist, Cameron and I had perfect vision of what a bit of a mess could become. Mostly walls, we didn’t have a great deal to fight with. We did however know that we had to bring this space up to date for future renters. We wanted things to be accessible comfortable and worthy to bring out the creative side of the tenants. As it stood, this would not be the case. The cure was, a new kitchen centered around the Slop sink.

Where do we begin? We had to first, get permission from many people about building and remodeling. We had to pay a bit just to get permits and licenses before we could start construction of any kind. This was another area that we had to just jump into and learn on the fly. We were forced to take numerous trips to the city officials to assure that we weren’t doing anything wrong by building or tearing anything apart. So we got through all of the legalities and paperwork. Now we move on to design and picking out new flooring, back splashes, decor, and appliances.

We found a great designer. She was able to capture our ideas and get them to paper. We stressed that the design must be centered around the existing slop sink that currently stood in the studio. The Slop sink was not a pretty sight, but it was the nostalgia that we were going after. We wanted the look to surround that rustic type time frame in history. We just knew that the slop sink had to stay. The designer was too willing to oblige.

We now arrived to the fun part. We get to go shopping. We have the opportunity to pick out the flooring, wall coloring, back splash material and appliances plus of course a brand new pull down kitchen faucet. It was easy to come up with the colors with the help of the designer. We were wanting to focus on the bright and vibrant colors. The atmosphere had to invite life and liveliness throughout. We saw swatches of many colors and patterns until we were satisfied.

Last, but not least, the the appliances had to be chosen. All the rave is stainless steel, but we weren’t that sure about this selection. Stainless steel may be the most popular in maintream, but not for us. Remember, it’s all about the slop sink. We searched and searched and then we came to some great conclusions. Everything came together so nicely right down to the flooring.

We are so pleased with the way things turned out. This is a project that will be forever remembered. The future tenants and any other visitors are sure to love the new ‘slop sink kitchen’.

Reaching Out To Local Artist

Reaching Out To Local Artist

It’s time now to decide who will be our artists. This also has been a very difficult undertaking. We made a list of some of our favorites. We revised the list because some of the artist just didn’t fit into the theme that we had created. We made another list just in case we change themes or expanded the scope of the theme. Now we have to contact these artist. The challenges included:finding contact information, actually making contact with the artist and getting times correlated with all the different artists that wanted to actually appear at the showing and not just send a representative piece to display.

Finding current numbers on people is not as easy as it seems. This is such a fast paced world now that requires one to be fairly cautious when interacting with strangers, so we were met with a little resistance when contacting many of the artists. Our first major problem was obtaining actual contact information. Sure Google is great as are many other information sources, but these sources can only take you so far without enough information to help the information source. Why is this so? Well people have quite similar names and in big cities, there can be pages upon pages of people with the same or similar names. So much research had to be done. This was taunting at times and very frustrating. We had to compile numbers, emails and physical addresses that may or may not have been correct, but we held on to as many as we could so that we could find a system to sift through the list until we obtained a comprehensive list that was a great start to begin making call, sending emails and in some cases sending hand written letters via snail mail.

Next, we were faced with the difficult task of actually getting in contact with the potential participants. We looked at our lists and organized them again. Some, we only had numbers, others we had numbers and email addresses and just a bare minimum, were older people and we only had physical addresses that we had to hope still existed. We began going down the call list first. We really wanted to be very personal for the exhibition, so showing this first was of great importance to me. When we first tried calling, we were very unsuccessful. we only reached 2 out of twenty on the first round of dialed calls. We stayed resilient and then we began to email artists. We were hoping for a greater response by email than we had gotten by phone calls. In our minds, we had decided to call back anyway in a day or so, so we weren’t feeling the pressure yet, but boy oh boy it set in after not to long. Many letters went out also.

Hard to wait, but worth it in the end. We began to get great responses from the artists that were interested and this was great. We even got the artists to mark off the potential day for the showing on their calendars. They gladly added our event to their busy schedules. We are on our way to great success for this near future exhibition.


Renting the Studio Space

I am not a real estate agent and legal jargon gets really tricky. It was now time to get major reinforcement. Thanks again to friends and associates with common interest, we are going to get this done. We have to find the place, negotiate price, and assure credit worthiness.

My partner and I have been in turmoil with the decision of trying to find the perfect place for the studio/ art gallery. This is very important. I watch HGTV sometimes and I hear it over and over again, location, location, location! Now I not only have to explore this at its fullest depth, I also really understand the true importance of this. We are not only considering a one time event when it comes to rental for the exhibition, but we are also needing to consider the use on a long term basis for the artists. Will my artists be able to catch the bus? Will the train or tram be a better option for them? Do I need to have a lot of parking spaces? What are the rules for parking and how many spaces will we be allotted anyway. This was a hard conclusion to come to.

Now came the disappointment of finding the perfect place over and over again with one hitch or another. We sometimes lost it out for being slow to react. We are new to this and were overly cautious about many things. We just did not want to jump into anything before we knew it was safe for us. But when our slow moves did not hurt us, our poor bargaining did. We didn’t know about commercial rent and the procedures to assure a great lease for our new gallery. We went through a lot of discussions and lost time in trying to get the price where we thought it should be. That was a very loose thought too because we really weren’t sure about what the rent should be. We did get the advice of a great agent that helped us secure a good deal.

Credit is a big deal in these matters, we had to try to qualify for the process. Do we set everything up in the business name or do we just use our personal credit for now? This should have been a no brainier, but still naive to all that was going on in the business side of the world, we were unsure about seemingly simple things. So we pondered for days just on this topic of how do we set up the lease on our credit or on the businesses’ credit. After much discussion, we made the best decision for the both of us and finally we were able to obtain a building for the art gallery.

This was probably one of the hardest steps in planning this process. There were so many things that we just did not know. We did not know and we did not know who to ask about the problems we were running into. Nonetheless, we got it done and we were able to breath and sigh of relief.